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Proposed increases in parking charges

From Stephen Curry

Monday, 5 September 2016

The report in last weeks Halifax Courier about proposals to increase the parking charges in Hebden Bridge (Up to £1) and Todmorden (up to 60p) came as bit of a surprise. And our first reaction was what bad timing it seemed. Firstly as many of our town centre traders have struggled to get back footfall and trade since the Boxing Day floods. But also in light of the Hebden Bridge Business Forum initiative to nominate the traders for the Great British High Street awards this week.

As we were not aware of any consultations on this we have set up a survey for traders, residents and visitors to have their say. We will pass the findings on to both the council and the business networks for their deliberations. We have since had a conversation with Calderdale and whilst no decision have yet been made, we are aware of the budgets cuts and do understand the difficult decisions they have to make, we still think there should be some local feedback available to them.

The survey can be found here.

Stephen Curry
Upper Calder Valley Renaissance

From Kez Armitage

Monday, 5 September 2016

It would be interesting to hear from our local Councillors (i.e the people we vote for, and who are supposed to be acting in our best interests) as to what they plan to do on this issue.

They all read Hebweb (and if any don't, then they ought, as it's the town's only meaningful online forum).

So, Hebden Royd, and Calderdale Councillors, what are you going to do to prevent these draconian charges from being instigated, just at the time when Hebden Bridge is struggling back on its feet after the traumas of last Boxing Day?

From Cllr Dave Young

In the last 6 years due to Government cuts Calderdale Council have had to cut our budget by £100m. Therefore hard decisions have to be made and these unfair cuts can only be achieved by reducing services or raising income or a mixture of both.

Car Parking charges has not been increased in Hebden Bridge since 2011 although they have in other parts of Calderdale.

The headline in the Halifax Courier is rather misleading as not all car parking spaces are proposed to go up to £1 an hour.

The papers that are going to Calderdale Cabinet on Monday 12th September at 6pm include Item 14 Review Of The Parking Service. The part of the paper that applies to Hebden Bridge is as follows:-

  • Off Street – Market Place, Garden Street & New Road 70p an hour from 40p an hour
  • St Pol & St Georges Square 70p an hour from 60p an hour
    Station Road 50p an hour from 30p an hour
  • On Street – Old Gate, Holme Street, Hangingroyd Lane, Valley Road & Regent Street £1 an hour from 40p an hour. (which seems a bit steep to me)

This paper is also going to the Environment & Economy Scrutiny Panel on Thursday 8th September at 6pm for due consideration.

Please feel free to attend both meetings as they are open to the Public.

I hope this is helpful.

Cllr Dave Young
Labour Councillor
Calder Ward

From David Kennedy

Monday, 5 September 2016

I see they have put double yellow lines directly on the right hand side of the road that leads up to Horsehold road, just after the bridge and they go up a long way!

Is this a plot to discourage people from parking there so that they have no other choice but to park in Hebden? Seems like a huge coincidence to me.

The double yellow lines that have been painted seem very narrow and I don't know whether they are legal! Perhaps this needs investigating.

From Tim B

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Vote for austerity - this is what you get.

From Kevin S

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Hebden really struggles for parking anyway, you only have to look on Falling Royd, Burnley road and every day it is full with commuters and on a weekend it nearly reaches Hawksclough with tourists parking, and moving the market from one car park to another car park does not help. Get the market on the marina or pedestrian area.

The old Walkleys Clog site car park is opened for Duck Race day and the Vintage Car Rally so obviously the gentleman who owns it is something to do with the Rotary Club. Surely someone can approach him and ask for it to be used full time. (The Clog Factory is a mess nearly falling in the river)

At the other side of Hebden is the old Brown's site. Again, this could be used for parking, and like most other towns parking could be free on Sundays to help traders and after what this valley has gone through with the floods introducing higher parking charges is the last thing it needs.

From Stephen Curry

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Thanks to Dave for the details about the meetings. We will send interim results of our survey to Calderdale to be available for Thursday's meeting. Please note that the Survey will be closed at 12 noon on Sunday 11th for independent analysis. The findings will then be available to the Cabinet for Monday 12th.We will also make the findings available here on Hebweb and to the general public that day.

Many thanks to those who have already completed the survey (over 400 in first two days). If you haven't yet had your say, there is still time.

From John G

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Why are parking charges imposed on Sundays in Hebden Bridge but not other parts of Calderdale?

From David Thompson

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

When Eric Pickles was the minister responsible for local government, he decreed that car parking charges should only be used to control parking, not to raise revenue. Does that decree no longer apply.

Cllr Young blames the cuts, imposed by George Osborne, for the need to increase parking charges. I am as opposed to these cuts as anyone, well aware that they impose a heavy burden on the poor, elderly and disadvantaged in our community. But why parking? Libraries are the usual easy target.

As others have said, these charge increases will damage our local economy when it is still weakened by the floods.

Are our councillors aware that we have a chief executive in receipt of a salary that is the equivalent of our Prime Minister? This salary, for running little Calderdale, with no responsibility for Brexit, our armed forces or the nuclear "deterrent"! Perhaps Cllr Young might like to ask this council officer to consider taking a cut in salary on the "we're all in this together", principle.

From Stephen Taylor

Thursday, 8 September 2016

If the cost of Parking in Todmorden goes up in price then people will park in the supermarket car parks and walk into the centre to do their shopping thereby by-passing the supermarkets. Or they will park in the supermarket car parks and shop only in the supermarkets, thereby by-passing the Market and the small shops in Todmorden. Either way - Todmorden will lose out.

Perhaps this is another ploy by the Council to close the Market Hall then they won't have to repair the roof.

From Tim M

Thursday, 8 September 2016

I don't think its a sinister ploy to destroy Hebden's economy, just one of the few ways the council has left to balance its books. Percentage wise, perhaps its a big leap, but it's still pretty cheap. Better than closing libraries. Will an extra quid or so to park for a few hours really put off visitors?

From Paul D

Friday, 9 September 2016

To be honest, we should really hammer everyone parking on street and/or those parking without a resident permit. There are cars parked all the way up from the Lion to Nutclough, from Macpelah to Tythe barn, cars right up Palace House Road so you can't drive up it. We have people with their drives being blocked by commuters, Blenheim, Foster Lane, Victoria and Osborne are like some overspill. It can't continue.

Dave is right because, unlike other people, he lives and walks the same streets that we live on. I don't agree with all of what he says, but personally I would do a park and ride/walk from Walkleys for visitors and then aggressively take on the people who work here, won't pay a cent to park their car all day. This is what nobody dares to talk about - selfish 'local' (but not really) people refusing to pay to park. If you work in Leeds you pay. Halifax you pay. Manchester you pay. Bradford you pay.

Charge the tourists, put double yellow lines for the one and a half mile 'commuters' who are really a big part of the problem. We have a brilliant local bus service. Too many lazy drivers who think somebody else's street is their daytime car park.

From Iain Harrison

Friday, 9 September 2016

Yes Tim, the increases will put shoppers off.

There is no bus service from my village to Hebden, so if I go, it is by car.

I pay for an hour or two in the car park at 40p per hour. I will go elsewhere if parking costs £1 per hour.

Simple as that. Hebden Bridge loses my custom entirely. It's a shame, but it's a fact.

From Freddie M

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Instead of putting tourists off coming to Hebden Bridge when shops need them to come here. We should be fining dog owners that let their dogs defecate on the streets without picking it up.

I think a £60 fine would be a good deterrent as in Leeds they fine people this amount for dropping litter if seen by the police.

The traffic wardens round here could look out for perpetrators as I've never seen a policeman 'on the beat'.

Instead of punishing innocent motorists why not go after the really anti social menace in our midst.

From Tim M

Monday, 12 September 2016

Iain, where will you go? Parking is expensive everywhere. We often have visitors who can't get over how cheap parking is here. I agree, many visitors do come by car, for all sorts of reasons, but mostly this is a small increase.

Having said this, there is a charge proposed for places like Albert Street, where parking is currently free - I think this is the bigger issue. An extra 10p an hour in Tanpits isn't.

From Stephen Curry

Monday, 12 September 2016

Thanks to everyone who took part in the parking fee survey. The results seem to be a resounding opposition to Calderdale council's proposals, with 93% against £1 parking and an average of 87% saying no to any increased charges in the valley. Over 200 participants have commented on the proposals many agreeing about the effect on struggling businesses. The full report is on the UCVR website

From Andy M

Monday, 12 September 2016

I've read research that suggests higher parking charges do not necessarily put shoppers off. There may be an initial drop but apparently patterns return to near 'normal'. The interim probably partly depends on the amount of the actual increase.

There is evidence too that the introduction of 'free' parking often does not have the desired effect in terms of increasing visitors or shoppers and, in fact, '..most often leads to a reduction in turnover of spaces, i.e. longer parking stays mean less visitors per day, with the most usual beneficiaries being local workers. This means that retails sales reduce rather than increase.'

From Iain Harrison

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Tim, I'll continue to shop in Sowerby Bridge and online for groceries and other essentials. For me, Hebden Bridge has always been mostly a place for leisure visits rather than shopping trips. I'm more likely to visit a cafe. Buying More Stuff is neither fun nor desirable as far as I'm concerned.

And someone correctly pointed out that free parking can stop shoppers, but that's only unlimited free parking. Make parking free all the time and the spaces fill up and stay filled all day. We need some way to ration spaces without putting visitors off and without encouraging extra traffic.

From Sarah Connor

Thursday, 15 September 2016

This price rise is unlikely to put visitors off and will not stop those within walking distance of the town centre from shopping as they always have.

It will have an effect on small business owners and their staff, most of whom have to drive to work as they are also delivering stock and working long hours. It has put my weekly parking costs up from £24 to £54 at at time when my rent an insurance have also increased 'due to the floods'. Compared to this time last year, my weekly costs of maintaining a central Hebden Bridge location has increased by £58.60, over £3000 a year.

If Hebden is happy to be a tourist town then I see no problem with the rise which will bring costs in line with Haworth, Keswick etc but if we want to keep a wide range of services serving the local community we need to be careful.

Perhaps the vacant old fire station site could be purchased by the council and opened as a 'season ticket holders' car park where local businesses and residents without parking spaces could purchase an annual pass with a guaranteed space available each day at a cheaper rate?

From Andy M

Friday, 16 September 2016

Are the Contract parking permits that allow long-stay parking also going up in price?