Hike in car parking charges could leave car parks deserted, survey reveals

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 21 Aug 2017

Motorists have warned North East Lincolnshire Council chiefs that if they increase parking fees they will just go elsewhere.

Nearly half of those responding to a survey said if a £1.50 ticket was introduced for evening parking they would find a free space in nearby streets.

The outcome of the wide-ranging survey will make gloomy reading for councillors trying to balance the council’s books in the face of a massive cut in government funding.

Councillors will meet at the special Economy Scrutiny Panel on Wednesday at 6pm at Grimsby Town Hall to assess the impact of the survey and how to draw up a parking strategy for the future.

Of the 800 respondents to the public survey 40 per cent said they would carry on using their cars and parking in council car parks if there was a 50p rise in the cost.

But an equal number said they would go elsewhere.

Councillors will be looking later this year whether to hike the price of parking and even re-introduce a £1.50 charge for evening parking, which is currently free.

They will also be assessing the possible closure of a number of the most “underused” car parks in the borough.

Burgess Street car park, Grimsby (Image: Rick Byrne)

They are Burgess Street, Garibaldi Duncombe Street, Orwell Street, East and West together with Wellington Terrace.

When asked which of the car parks should be kept, Garibaldi came out top with nearly 60 per cent of respondents saying it should be kept.

Currently, it costs between £1 and £1.50 to park for an hour in the borough’s car parks, between £1.50 and £2.50 to park for two hours, between £2.50 and £3.50 for four hours and between £3 and £5 for up to eight hours.

Nearly 300 of the motorists said cutting the cost of parking would encouarge greater use of car parks and 84 said better security, lighting and CCTV would increase the number of drivers using council car parks.

Most respondents were unsure whether they wanted more permit-only parking for residents as councillors will soon decide if they are going to encourage more people to buy permits by cutting the cost from the present £80 to £45.

Garibaldi Street Car Park, Grimsby (Image: Duncan Young)

Currently motorists have to pay £663 for a season ticket for car parks.

Nearly a third of those who responded said a £500 season ticket for all car parks would be a good idea.

The council commissioned Systra in 2016 to undertake the review to come up with a parking strategy for adoption at the council’s 26 pay and display car parks, which provide over 3,000 spaces.

Systra reviewed the borough’s parking infrastructure and requirement for off-street parking spaces and places to meet future demand, whether there is sufficient disabled parking to meet current standards and needs for the area.

The consultancy found found that a five per cent increase in car parking tariffs at a fixed price would result in a 1.5 per cent demand for spaces, but would increase revenue by £69,530, or 3.5 per cent.

The same increase with variable tariffs would create £78,926 extra cash for the council whilst a 10 per cent increase in tariff at a fixed price would bring in £138,073 and a 10 per cent increase with variable tariffs would fetch £157,176.

It also shows that a 10 per cent reduction in tariffs would mean the authority would lose £142,286.



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