“Car parking charges in York will be held at current levels for the forthcoming year”, says Steve Galloway, as the Councils Strategy budget report is published today. “This should give retailers in York a big boost as many charges – including those at the 70p an hour Fossbank shoppers car park – have already been frozen for the last 3 years.
The Strategy budget plan for 10/11 is aimed at sustaining service levels while recognising and responding to the economic downturn”. It will be presented to an Executive member decision meeting on 28th January. In the interim residents have the opportunity to make representations about the proposals. Key points from the plan are:
- Car parking charges frozen for a further year
- Car parking arrangements more flexible e.g. the 5 hour maximum stay time limit on short stay car parks will be lifted. The only deterrent to long duration occupation will now be financial.
- New car park ticket machines to be installed which will accept payment by charge and credit card. Machines also allow for “off peak” discount parking rates.
- The Esplanade car park is to be designated as “short stay”. This is aimed at encouraging use by shoppers traveling from west of City
- 90% of ResPark charges are being frozen. Small/low emission vehicles will pay £44 a year with eligibility widened to cover vehicles in VED band C. Standard rate continues at £93. New premium rates introduced for large/high emission vehicles (£110).
- Companions will be able to accompany blind passengers on York buses in future without charge
- More is to be spent on flood prevention measures
- Further work is to be done to ensure that the most appropriate vehicle speed limits apply across the City
Savings are being made in the Directorate against a background of a steep reduction in Planning and Building Control applications and hence fee income, which has resulted from the recession. This could mean some job losses &/or short time working. It is intended to retain sufficient capacity to be able to respond to an upturn in the economy later in the year.For the first time, it is hoped that the elderly persons “free” travel concessions costs will be balanced by government grant.
York taxpayers have suffered in the past with an estimated cumulative £1 million shortfall in government subsidy. £50 worth of travel tokens will continue to be offered to qualifying people with disabilities as an alternative to a bus pass. Any increase in park and ride fares will be restricted to 10p.
Steve Galloway says, “Once again, central government is transferring responsibilities onto local authorities and imposing additional costs. In the forthcoming year around £500,000 extra will be levied in Landfill waste taxes and in implementing the mandatory waste management plan.
However I am delighted that we have been able to respond to resident’s requests for a more flexible car parking system. Payment by charge card will be more convenient and the abolition of the stay limit on short stay car parks should encourage visitors to spend longer in our shops and tourist attractions”. Further details of the budget will be made available in the run up to the Executives budget meeting which is scheduled to take place on 16th February.