Car parking consultation criticised for 'not focusing on the right issues'
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 14 Aug 2017
The focus of North East Lincolnshire's car parking consultation has come under criticism from local residents, with some feeling that it targets the wrong issues.
A six-week consultation is now coming to an end with North East Lincolnshire Council asking for views on the often-thorny issue of parking in the borough.
Following a review by Systra, a number of proposals were put forward in June including a rise in parking charges of up to 10 per cent, and the introduction of a £1.50 charge for evening parking, which is currently free.
The authority is also asking for opinions on the future of underused car parks in Burgess Street, Garibaldi/Duncombe Street, Orwell Street and Wellington Terrace in Grimsby, as well as provision for disabled people and season tickets.
Meanwhile, residents who currently pay for parking permits could see the cost almost halved – from £80 to £45.
However some residents have criticised the consultation, believing that it focuses on the wrong issues, and includes proposals that will "deter tourists and locals" from the town centre.
One Resident, Mick Hugill, of Earl Street, has been campaigning for a number of months now for the reintroduction of the residents' parking scheme in his area, and while he feels that the proposals for such schemes at a reduced cost are very good, he feels other aspects of the consultation are flawed.
He said: "If the council are willing to return the residents' parking schemes then I just do not understand why they are considering closing a number of car parks and increasing the car parking charges.
"In my view the reason that certain car parks are empty is because people have the ability to park on residential streets for free all day, and if they can do that then why would they use a car park where they are charged?
"The Systra report on the car parking strategy states that there are anywhere up to 400 cars parking on residential streets throughout the week, and once they are unable to park there where are they going to go if there are no car parks?
"I feel that on top of the residents' parking schemes there should be a provision that allows people to park in streets where a scheme is operating for free for up to an hour, so that local businesses are not affected."
Other residents feel that increasing the parking charges will just further deter people from coming to the town centre.
Evelyn Charles said: "Ridiculous - what more is there to say? It will deter holidaymakers from coming and make it awkward for people who live here."
Roz French claimed: "The whole thing is just mad, pay our taxes and they want more, parking at night has always been free after 6pm, people will end just paying for a taxi or not going out."
Gill Lancaster said: "And people wonder why Grimsby is becoming a ghost town."
Speaking previously about the parking consultations, councillor David Watson, portfolio holder for Energy and Environment at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “It’s a topic that affects everyone, not only motorists, and we’re very much open to ideas and suggestions about it.
“We won’t be making decisions on any of the suggestions in the report until the evidence gathered during the consultation and the cross-party examination through the council’s scrutiny process has been considered.
“The six-week consultation will help us make sure our parking plans fit with our overall approach for the borough, in terms of making the most of our economic, cultural and heritage offer, but also being aware of the differing needs of local people, visitors and businesses.
“The overall aim must be to get the best approach to car parking that we can for the whole of North East Lincolnshire.”