Marygate car park barrier scheme cost £100,000

Labour back down and agree to fit card reader payment option by “early autumn”

The Council will fit a credit/Charge car payment option at the new Marygate pay on exit machines.

Marygate car park charges

Although they blame a “national issue with chip and pin devices” the reality is that the Council forgot to include the option in the original design specification.

The new system should not have been brought into service until a choice of payment options was available.

Card payments can be made at other City centre car parks like Piccadilly.

NB. Only about 1000 of the new £20 Minster badges have been sold so far.

Each of York’s 80,000 households is entitled to a badge which replaces the current free badge which was issued when the LibDems were in control of the Council.

There are around 30,000 active Minster Badges currently in use in the City.

From September, anyone without a badge will have to pay the full rate to park during the day and will also lose the right to free evening parking.

Council now claims A59 Park and Ride site completion date is Thursday 31st July!

On site wind turbine scheme jettisoned

Councillor Levene has now given a absolute commitment that all works connected with the Poppleton Bar park and ride site – plus associated works on the A1237 and the A59 will be completed by 31st July.

In an answer published to a question tabled at the last Council meeting he says,the contractors are scheduled to leave site by the end of the month.

The premature opening of the Poppleton Bar site has also been under fire although the numbers using the service are claimed to be similar to the figures at other Park and Ride sites immediately after their introduction.

  Month 1 trip numbers Month 13 trip numbers Month 25 trip numbers
Grimston Bar (1994): 3,889 14,525 21,891
Designer Outlet (2000): 9,606 18,495 21,524
Monks Cross (2004) 13,550 35,429 43,797
Poppleton Bar (2014) 9,148 (8/6/14  – 1/7/14)    

From opening, the number of cars parked at the new Poppleton Park & Ride site is between 70 – 100.

On a Saturday this increases to 200.

Electric bus on charge

With many of the electric buses running empty, the Council has been criticised for unnecessarily increasing CO2 emissions.

In response to a written question the responsible cabinet member has revealed that the provision of an on site wind turbine was aborted at the last minute. He claimed,

“the electric buses charge overnight at the First Depot in York. The electricity grid is off-peak at this time and of lower carbon intensity. There was a wind turbine in the design for Poppleton Bar however the supplier went out of business a month before installation. Officers are currently exploring alternative suppliers of renewable generation equipment for Poppleton Bar which could supply sufficient power for the on-site Rapid chargers which boost the range of the electric buses”.

Poppleton park and ride road works 28th June 2014

Labour Councillors have claimed that the decision to open the Poppleton Park and Ride site was taken by “officers” implying that they had no influence over the blunder.

Despite this 3 Labour Councillors were featured in a media photograph which covered the sites official opening.

Eight garages available to rent in Foxwood from £6-99 per week.


8 garages have become available for rent in the Foxwood area.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

They are available for £6-99 a week for tenants or £8-39 for other residents.

There are also vacant garages available in Ascot Way, Windsor Garth, Ridgeway, Thoresby Road and Bramham Road  as well as on many other estates across the whole City.

Rents for garages near the City centre are higher.

To express an interest in renting a garage tel 01904 552096


Lib Dems fight to resolve parking chaos in Clifton


Clifton Liberal Democrats are pushing for Newborough Street to be converted into a residential parking zone due to the shocking lack of availability for local residents. 

Newborough Street

Newborough Street

Local families are unable to park outside their own homes due to a large number of local workers and city commuters taking advantage of the street’s unrestricted parking. This problem is only set to increase with the completion of the new eco-homes development, local homeowner and Liberal Democrat campaigner Tobie Abel is calling on the council to take action.

A petition to convert the street into a residential parking zone has been gaining momentum and will be submitted to City of York Council on the 17th of July. Residents can show their support by contacting Tobie at

Tobie commented:

“After speaking to local residents it is clear that the current situation cannot continue. Newborough Street’s proximity to the hospital, the football club and the city centre puts a real strain on the limited parking available. Everyone I have spoken to has been very supportive of the petition, and we are calling on the council to take action.

The residential parking zone would finally give Newborough Street homeowners the spaces that they desperately need.” 

Confusion at Marygate car park

Marygate car park equipment


Liberal Democrats have raised concerns over changes made to a city-centre car park ahead of this weekend’s Tour De France.

The changes, introduced earlier this week, will mean that motorists will no longer have the option to pay by mobile phone at the council-owned car park on  Marygate.

More surprisingly there is no option to pay by debit or credit card with only cash payments accepted.

Liberal Democrats say the move is a step backwards and has not been properly advertised. The changes are believed to have cost £100,000 with the installation of new ticket barriers.

Usually Labour Cabinet members are falling over themselves to have their photographs taken next to their latest vanity project. But they have been strangely quiet on this one.

The Council haven’t even formally announced the change through a media release.

And no one has yet admitted responsibility for the decision not to accept charge card payments.

The move follows the unpopular introduction of a new charge which means residents will have to pay £20 for a Minster Badge parking pass.

Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Transport, commented:

“The poorly advertised changes at Marygate represent a step-backwards for car parks in York as the pay by phone option will no longer be available meaning that motorists will no longer be able to use their cards to pay. As more and more services become cashless, it seems that Labour run York Council is going the opposite way.

“There are some serious questions to be answered about spending £100,000 on the changes at the same time as asking residents to pay £20 for their discount Minster Badge. I don’t think local people will believe this represents value for money.

“I am also concerned that these changes have been poorly advertised and many drivers will turn-up at Marygate expecting to be able to pay by card, but will instead have to trudge to a cash machine. Introducing the scheme just days before the busy Tour De France weekend is also questionable.”

Foreign language instructions, clearly still visible, state that credit card payments can be made.

Yesterday several bewildered visitors were wandering around the car park asking for help with “change”.

The machine claims to give “change” but whether it could always be stacked up with a big enough float of £1 coins to fulfil this promise remains to be seen,

Marygate car park gets barrier

The new equipment for Marygate has apparently has cost £100,000.

The reliability record of this type of system is also patchy

There are some big questions to be answered about value for money with residents discount Minster Badges now costing £20. .

Apparently the facility to pay by charge/credit card (or phone) will be withdrawn. Not clear whether it is a “no change given” machine. Assume it will accept notes!!

NB. Will charges apply in the evening? How will badge holders exit without paying?

Residents now asked to pay £20 for “Minster” parking sticker


The Council’s Labour Leadership are going ahead with their threat to scrap the free “Minster” badge which entitles residents to discounts on car parking charges.

This was introduced some years ago as a way of recognising that residents had paid for the car park to be established  in the first place.

Residents will have to apply online to purchase a replacement badge. (Ironically, today, the web site links weren’t working).

The Council says that the charge will go towards making up a £280,000 shortfall on car parking income.

The shortfall has arisen since Labour increased car parking charges, some by as much as 80%, when they took office.

The new scheme means the end of “free” evening parking for residents. Free evening parking was something  Labour campaigned for in 2007 when a £1 per evening charge applied for residents.

Now any resident, without one of the new Minster Badges, faces a £2 charge (the same as visitors).

When announcing their plans earlier in the year, Labour claimed that they wanted to provide an incentive for “frequent visitors” to return to the City, but it now appears that those living in the City’s hinterland will NOT be able to buy a badge.

With around £300,000 in car parking income now at risk because of the free morning parking introduced at some car parks on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday, it seems unlikely that the council has got its sums right.

We predict a strong reaction against the new charges from residents, some of whom may now choose to shop, and play, away from the City Centre.

York camera van parking enforcement details published

camera van

The York Council has now published details of where the controversial “spy camera” van has been operating.

The van has generated 473 fixed penalty notices. Of these most (249) have been paid at the £35 prompt payment rate.

222 are outstanding with 65 subject to appeals.

A day by day list of the locations visited by the camera van can be downloaded by clicking here

The total number of parking tickets issued by the York Council increased during the last (financial) year

  • 2010/11 – 20,262
  • 2011/12 – 16,510
  • 2012/13 – 14,010
  • 2013/14 – 17,232

The value of the fines income generated also increased, as did enforcement costs

  • 2010/11 £581,444
  • 2011/12 £465,902
  • 2012/13 £414,294
  • 2013/14 £485,758 (2137 outstanding tickets)

Cost of enforcement

  • 2010/11 £818,977
  • 2011/12 £716,113
  • 2012/13 £665,207
  • 2013/14 £750,750

The number of tickets successfully appealed was:

  • 2010/11 – 4074
  • 2011/12 – 3655
  • 2012/13 – 3074
  • 2013/14 – 3490


Spy camera car in Front Street?

Minster FM is claiming that the parking enforcement camera van has now expanded its coverage area to include shopping streets.

Amongst them is Front Street in Acomb together with Acomb Road itself.

Traders in the sub-urban area have been having a difficult time over recent years and any suggestion that customers could pick up a £70 fine for parking would be an unwelcome development.

Free parking is one of the few advantages that small traders in Acomb have over the retail giants.

The camera car was introduced to stop poor (sometimes dangerous) parking outside primary schools in the City. Although not popular with everyone, we recognise that the initiative was a genuine attempt by the Council to address a real problem.

Local schools being monitored include Westfield and Woodthorpe

Extending the use of spy cameras to routinely issue tickets in less critical streets would be a step too far.

spy car

We are fortunate that York’s parking wardens (civil enforcement officers) do exercise discretion before issuing fixed penalty tickets. That approach needs to continue.

It appears that the Labour Council have learned little from the Lendal bridge fiasco. There, the crude use of cameras to enforce restrictions that were misunderstood by many, damaged the City’s reputation.

Labour’s inclusion, in their budget for the current year, of an additional £150,000 from spy camera generated fines confirms that they intend to continue the war against their own citizens.

NB. Respondents to our survey in west York have come out by 2:1 against the extended use of spy cameras in the  City.