It looks like the installation of barriers at the Marygate car park – which cost taxpayers £100,000 – has reduced Council income by around £35,000 (20%) over the last 3 months.
Income from Marygate Car Park in the 13 week period from 30th June to 28th September totalled £142,000 in 2014/15.
The equivalent figure for 2013/14 was £177,000.
Those expecting the blame to be placed on faulty barriers – they have been jammed in the raised position on a number of occasions recently – will be disappointed.
The York Council says,
“There have been some minor faults which, as with all newly introduced schemes, is to be expected whilst the system beds in. These have been dealt with expeditiously with minimal disruption to the fee-paying public”. (!)
It is the latest in a series of parking management blunders since Labour took control of the Council in 2011.
In response to a question tabled by the Liberal Democrats at the last Council meeting, Labour have admitted that only 6,300 of the new £20 Minster badges have been sold so far.
Over 30,000 of the old style badges were in circulation.
A Minster badge is necessary to qualify for free evening parking. It also entitles users to a discount on day time parking fees.
The relatively low take up of the badges suggests that the charging scheme may be discouraging residents from visiting and shopping in the City centre.
The Labour Councillor with responsibility for car parking in York has admitted that he doesn’t know how many drivers are taking advantage of the “free” car parking available at a limited number of locations on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
More worryingly, he says that the impact of the scheme on the Councils car parking account is impossible to calculate because of other factors such as the opening of the new Park and Ride site at Poppleton.
The Council are promising to check the vehicle counters at individual car parks over the next few weeks to try to get some idea of the impact that the – very expensive – scheme is having.
Subjectively it does appear that the morning rush hour has been busier over the last couple of months with journey times increasing.
When introduced, the free parking scheme was criticised by many as encouraging more vehicles onto the road during the morning peak period.