Driffield News

Sense and sensibility: Sunday parking charges have been shelved after facing fierce opposition

‘Sense has prevailed’ was the view of Driffield mayor Cllr Mark Blakeston when East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) revealed that plans to introduce car parking charges on a Sunday had been shelved.

As reported in the Wolds Weekly, ERYC had agreed at their meeting in February to expand Sunday car parking charges to towns where Sundays are not currently chargeable, which included at Cross Hill and Beckside car parks in Driffield.

The plan was met with fierce opposition from Driffield Town Council who said that the charges would have a major impact on town centre businesses and counter act all the hard work that had been done to help revive the town centre following the impact of the pandemic.

After all the work that has been done to revitalise the town centre, to throw a grenade into the middle of it was something that was completely the wrong thing to do.

DTC councillor, Matt Rogers

East Riding ward councillors for Driffield and Rural said they had been working behind the scenes to see these plans put on hold and an announcement was made on Tuesday, 2nd August – the same day the Driffield & Wolds Weekly ran its front page story about the plans – to say ‘a decision has been made not to progress the introduction of Sunday charging at this time’.

In an email to Driffield Town Council, ERYC said: “We are conscious that many residents and visitors to the area will be struggling with the current cost of living crisis, along with increasing fuel costs, and the Council is working hard to try and keep costs down for drivers wherever possible.

“In addition, we wish to support our local businesses and the high streets in our market towns, who benefit from the current free Sunday parking arrangements.”

A delighted Cllr Blakeston said: “I think sense has prevailed.

“It is a good result and something we need to keep a watchful eye on because I anticipate it will come back again at some point.

“The most important thing is that ERYC has taken another look at it and, as it said in its email, it recognises the importance in supporting the high street at a time when shoppers and retailers are struggling and as a result has deferred it.”

Driffield Town Council (DTC) said it was delighted that common sense had prevailed and thanked ERYC ward councillors for working to ensure the proposal did not come to fruition.

ERYC and DTC councillor, Matt Rogers, said: “I was really upset about this decision and, after all the work that has been done to revitalise the town centre, to throw a grenade into the middle of it was something that was completely the wrong thing to do.

“I am pleased the officers have listened to us, it was a good result and the right thing to do.

“My biggest worry is that they will want to bring this in a later date, but we will be ready for that and I hope there will be more communication before that happens.”

Driffield and Rural ward councillor Michael Lee told the Wolds Weekly that the decision to put on hold the Sunday car parking charges had been taken before the Wolds Weekly went to print for last week’s issue, but the decision had not been communicated at that point.

He said: “The plan to introduce Sunday parking was originally agreed in February by Full Council as a part of the overall budget.

“This was some months before the major impacts of the cost of living crisis, resulting from the huge increases in energy prices, became evident.

“In light of the severe pressure that East Riding residents are under, a decision was taken on Friday 29th July to delay any changes to parking charges.

“I actually communicated this to my two ward colleagues, Cllrs Temple and Rogers that day.

“It is unfortunate that this information did not get through to Driffield Town Council and the media prior to the article going to print.

“Both DTC and ERYC have worked hard to improve the vibrancy of the town centre and the results have been a credit to all concerned.

“As East Riding councillors, our primary job is the well-being of our residents whilst ensuring that Council services are delivered at the best value.

“We will continue to work hard on these objectives in conjunction with our town and parish councils.”

A spokesman for East Riding of Yorkshire Council stated that it was working hard to keep costs down for motorists.

They said: “Officers have reviewed the initial feedback from the consultation on these proposals and, as a result, a decision has been made not to progress with the introduction of Sunday charging in council pay-and-display car parks at this time.

“We are conscious that many residents and visitors to the area will be struggling with the current cost of living crisis, along with increasing fuel costs.

“The council is working hard to try and keep costs down for drivers wherever possible.

“In addition, we wish to support our local businesses and the high streets in our market towns, who benefit from the current free Sunday parking arrangements.

“Parking charges are reviewed regularly to ensure that spaces are managed for the benefit of as many people as possible.

“The income generated from car parking covers the cost of the parking service and contributes to the maintenance of the council’s roads.”

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please allow ads on our site Ads help pay for our website and content. Switch off your ad-blocker and enjoy.