Saturdays traffic log jam in the City was partly down to lack of information about car parking space availability.
The Council’s “on line” site http://www.yorklive.info/ still does not provide the kind of information that was available 15 years ago, we – together with many other Cities – had a system which showed the total number of spaces at car parks and the number of spaces that were free at each.
The web site is still available (click here) but it is not updated and indeed contains details of car parks which no longer exist, while the number of spaces at others is clearly wrong. It currently advises users that the Leeman Road “commuter” car park has -1 spaces.
The “on line” system has not worked properly since the Council moved offices 4 years ago,
Street information boards on the arterial roads, that indicated where parking space could be found, have also been removed.
The result is that large numbers of cars circle the City looking for parking spaces – adding unnecessarily to congestion and pollution levels.
By now the City should have a system linked with satellite navigation services which would guide drivers to the nearest available free space. Far from moving forward with this kind of the improvement, the Council seems to be heading backwards into the mid twentieth century.
Once popular car parks like the 290 space Piccadilly multi storey have seen usage fall since the space available signs were withdrawn
The Council may be reluctant to publicise car parks in the city centre as it – understandably – wants to encourage the use of park and ride, but it needs to make a policy statement quickly on what it is doing, and what it plans to do in the future, to deal with demand peaks.
The Council makes over £2 million a year “profit” on car parking in the City. It would be well advised to plough some of this back into resurfacing the car parks and providing 21st century standards of information.
Hopefully they will be able to do something before the two busiest days of the year (the Saturday before Christmas and Christmas Eve) when pressure on spaces will peak.