No reminder notices in York car parks
We said on Saturday that the York Council had to ensure that all old style Minster Badge owners were reminded that their stickers were invalid from today (1st September 2014).
After the fiasco of the poor signage on Lendal bridge, we expected that the Council would have gone to extreme lengths to ensure that notices were posted in car parks reminding drivers that only Labour’s £20 new style badge would entitle users to a discount ( and free evening parking).
However, it appears that the advice has gone unheeded as there were NO warning signs displayed in York’s most popular car park (Castle) this morning.
No warning notices in Castle Car Park about Minster Badge change
Those seeking to pay charges using the mobile phone and text services likewise receive no reminder of the change.
How many residents have received penalty notices may become clear in a few days time.
However it is likely that the parking adjudicator may once again be faced with a large volume of complaints from York – possibly leading to the introduction of a costly refund process.
Less than 10% of current users have been prepared to pay £20 for Labours new style parking discount badge
The new badge is mandatory from Monday when the old blue free stickers – issued by the former LibDem run Council – will no longer be recognised by parking wardens.
Many traders fear that the message has not got through to shoppers and that some may be alienated if they receive a parking fine.
Another Lendal Bridge fiasco may be in the making. The quality of the warning signage about the change in the car parks on Monday is likely to come under intense scrutiny by residents.
Of over 30,000 current Minster Badge holders in York, only 3382 have so far bought a new Minster Badge. The badge was an initiative by Labour to try to bridge a £200,000 shortfall on parking income.
But it looks like it will make things worse, rather than better. Take up has been well below expectations and if motorists choose out of City centre retail parks in which to do their shopping, then the car parking account will be hit even harder..
Without the new badge, York residents will have to pay the same parking rates as visitors – meaning a hefty increase
Under the LibDems, in 2011 residents paid £1.10 per hour to park at most City centre car parks (those designated as “standard stay”). Residents will now see that increase by a staggering 82% to £2.00.
Even worse may be the effect on the City centre evening economy where the “free after 6:00pm” parking concession will also be lost.
Earlier in the year, a large petition was collected by residents who wanted to see things left as they were.
With the next Council elections only 8 months away, it is likely that the Liberal Democrats will become the first party to pledge to reintroduce the free Minster badge for residents.
In addition any regular visitor to the City should be able to buy one of the new style badges – in recognition of the money that they inject into the City centre economy and the jobs that it supports.
Residents only have until 18th April to “sign” a petition on the Councils web site asking for the retention of the Minster badge.
The badge entitles York taxpayers to discount car parking during the day and free parking in the evening.
It is due to be scrapped under a Labour proposal which would see a new badge introduced which anyone would be able to buy.
The petition can be accessed by clicking here
The petition reads,
We the undersigned petition the council to continue to supply Minster car parking badges to York residents free of charge. As one of the few councils in the country who have suffered council tax rises every year under the Labour council while the rest of the country hasn’t. We propose that residents have already paid for this right.
The many businesses that rely on local trade within the city centre are already dwindling. Also many businesses like restaurants and cafes rely on local trade throughout the winter months when there are few tourists. A further reduction in the number of residents visiting the town centre could prove fatal.