Only 3382 new Minster Badges sold.
Less than 10% of current users have been prepared to pay £20 for Labours new style parking discount badge
The new badge is mandatory from Monday when the old blue free stickers – issued by the former LibDem run Council – will no longer be recognised by parking wardens.
Many traders fear that the message has not got through to shoppers and that some may be alienated if they receive a parking fine.
Another Lendal Bridge fiasco may be in the making. The quality of the warning signage about the change in the car parks on Monday is likely to come under intense scrutiny by residents.
Of over 30,000 current Minster Badge holders in York, only 3382 have so far bought a new Minster Badge. The badge was an initiative by Labour to try to bridge a £200,000 shortfall on parking income.
But it looks like it will make things worse, rather than better. Take up has been well below expectations and if motorists choose out of City centre retail parks in which to do their shopping, then the car parking account will be hit even harder..
Without the new badge, York residents will have to pay the same parking rates as visitors – meaning a hefty increase
Under the LibDems, in 2011 residents paid £1.10 per hour to park at most City centre car parks (those designated as “standard stay”). Residents will now see that increase by a staggering 82% to £2.00.
Even worse may be the effect on the City centre evening economy where the “free after 6:00pm” parking concession will also be lost.
Earlier in the year, a large petition was collected by residents who wanted to see things left as they were.
With the next Council elections only 8 months away, it is likely that the Liberal Democrats will become the first party to pledge to reintroduce the free Minster badge for residents.
In addition any regular visitor to the City should be able to buy one of the new style badges – in recognition of the money that they inject into the City centre economy and the jobs that it supports.