Here's Courier readers' views on how to improve parking and news that smart parking system in Halifax is almost ready to use

Cars parked in Halifax
Cars parked in Halifax

‘Make it cheaper’ - that’s the answer proving most popular from Courier readers when it comes to improving parking in the borough.

As part of our Love Your Town survey, we asked what could be done to make parking better in Calderdale’s town centres.

Dozens of people said cheaper parking is the answer, with some suggesting more spaces should be free to use at weekends. Others suggested the first 15 minutes or hour should free.

More flexibility was also a popular answer, with suggestions including offering more 15-minute slots for those dropping off or picking up.

There were also calls to provide more parking by turning areas of wasteland into car parks or building more multi-storey car parks.

In Halifax, readers said there should be more parking near The Piece Hall and near the railway station.

Making public transport more reliable and cheaper would also improve parking, readers said.

Calderdale Council is introducing a new smart parking system in Halifax town centre allowing people to find spaces more easily and pay by card using mobile app technology.

The installation of sensors and infrastructure to allow the introduction of a new smart parking system in Halifax is now almost complete, and testing is underway.

Around 1,750 new smart parking sensors have now been installed in pay and display car parks and on street parking bays across the town.

When live, these sensors will enable the AppyParking mobile app to show real-time parking availability, allowing users to check where its best to park before the start of their journey.

The new system, which is being introduced on a two-year trial basis, also allows users of the mobile app to register a bank card to their account and pay for parking through the app, removing the need to carry change and find pay and display machines.

Following the minimum ticket duration (which is either half an hour or an hour, depending on location), charging will take place by the minute rather than for each hour, and charges will end automatically as the car leaves the bay.

There will be an additional 30p convenience charge made by AppyParking for making payments through the app.

Those wishing to pay with cash will still be able to do so, and blue badge and permit holders are unaffected by these changes and should continue to display their permits or badge.

The app can still be used without the payment function to help people to find spaces more easily.

The system is due for official launch later this summer after complete and thorough testing of the app and infrastructure.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, Councillor Jane Scullion, said: “We want to make parking as straightforward as possible. By using this new smart parking technology we can help people find spaces more easily, and allow for the convenience of cashless payments as happens in many other towns.

“This app is aimed at reducing congestion caused by people driving around town to look for on–street parking spaces, particularly at busy periods. The real-time availability function will also be of particular use to visitors to the town who already have the app but may not be familiar with the area.

“Following the roll out of the trial scheme in Halifax this year, we will also explore cashless parking provisions in the surrounding towns in the borough.”