Parking prices rise as ‘bonkers’ plan to shrink spaces is withdrawn

Parking guide CMK
Parking guide CMK

Critics of the “bonkers” idea to shrink parking spaces are celebrating news that the decision has been withdrawn.

Councillor Matt Clifton reversed his plan to re-draw 5,000 spaces in order to cram in 235 new bays - at a hefty cost of £300,000.

Campaign groups and opposition councillors are claiming the u-turn as a “big victory”.

Lib Dem group leader Douglas McCall told the Citizen: “Employees did not want extra spaces at the cost of a dented car.

“It was a bonkers idea, but they have now seen sense after we put across very good arguments.”

But following the good news announced yesterday, 300 spaces across the city have changed from 50p an hour to £2 (see map).

Tory spokesman for transport and highways, Councillor Alex Walker, said: “The forced through changes to peak permit parking have come into effect just before Christmas - hitting shoppers where it hurts.

“I was pleased the council listened to us and local businesses on the shrinking of spaces, but it’s a shame they didn’t on this. 
“There is still no evidence of a long-term solution to our shortage of parking for employees and shoppers.”

The plans, revealed by the Citizen, prompted criticism from shoppers and motorists.

A petition was launched by a member of the public on the change.org website and was signed by more than 1,600 people.

Mr Clifton, Labour cabinet member for transport, said: “We are always willing to listen and take on board constructive criticism.

“Over the past year we’ve been working hard to provide additional parking for employees in the city centre.

“It is not easy but so far we’ve managed to bring 800 extra standard charge bays into use for employees.”

He continued: “We are limited in the short term options we have at our disposal, for example you cannot build a multi-storey car-park overnight, and other ideas, such as decking, also have their costs and detractors.”