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York Parking Most Expensive in Yorkshire Despite Parking "Election Gimmick"


12:29pm 15th April 2014
(Updated 2:31pm 15th April 2014)

York is the most expensive place in Yorkshire to park, despite a new three hour free parking scheme being launched today.

Minster FM has compared how much it would cost a visitor to park for three hours, at the most expensive short stay council run car park in each of Yorkshire's twenty council areas.

York £6.90
Leeds £6
Selby £5.40
Harrogate £4.80
East Riding of Yorkshire £4.60
Craven £3.50
Scarborough £3.50
Sheffield £3
Richmondshire £3
Doncaster £2.90
Rotherham £2.80
Ryedale £2.80
Kirklees £2.70
Hull £2.70
Barnsley £2.50
Wakefield £2.40
Calderdale £2.10
Bradford £1.80
Hambleton £1.80


York came out as the most expensive place in Yorkshire to park under those circumstances, although it would only cost £1 to park in the Bishopthorpe Road car park for three hours and there are also park and ride options available which are free to park in, but motorists do then have to pay bus fares.

From May 26th, it will be free to park between 8am and 11am on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the following city centre car parks:

  •  Bishopthorpe Road car park
  • Castle Mills car park
  • Foss Bank car park
  • Marygate car park
  • Monk Bar car park
  • Nunnery Lane car park
  • St George's Field car park
  • Union Terrace car park

The following council car parks will still charge at those times and are not included in the scheme:

  • Bootham Row car park
  • Castle car park
  • Esplanade car park
  • Haymarket car park
  • Piccadilly car park

The scheme will end on May 26th next year, in the same month that the city council is holding it's elections for the next four years. The money to pay for the project has come from the developers behind the new Vangarde Shopping Park.

Shop owners in York city centre have welcomed the new parking proposals, with Frank Wood from the York Retail Forum telling Minster FM:

"It's a start. It's a trial. We're starting with early mornings when we can attract people into the city when they're not necessarily in the shops. Obviously, we need to expand the evening economy, we'll be looking at that in the future, but it's a start."

Adam Sinclair, Chair of City Team York added: “City centre businesses are now being invited to embrace the initiative by coming up with imaginative “early bird” offers and help share the message to customers. We’ve been working on this in the partnership with the council for some time and are pleased to see this initiative come to fruition.

“Working again with the council we are also seeking to introduce wider offers to, subject to the development of other funding streams such as a Business Improvement District. I am pleased to say this would be something John Lewis, M&S and other retailers would be keen to support".

David Cox, Director of the Federation of Small Businesses said "City Team York, a private sector led group of business and council members,  is committed to making improvements to York city centre and the surrounding areas for the benefit of residents and businesses. This is the first of many changes that we can make by working together. I hope that we can extend free parking times beyond this initial step as work on obtaining funding for our initiatives progresses”.

Dave Merrett, Cabinet member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “The council has been working closely with members of City Team York, the Retail Forum, the Federation of Small Businessesand other key businesses over the last six months, to look at how we might improve car access into the city centre. As part of these discussions the groups have concluded that the city should look at incentivising residents and visitors into the city centre, particularly at the weekend."

“We have listened to business and wider representatives and in discussion with the support of the Vangarde developers it is proposed that the city introduce a ‘8am to 11am’ offer Thursday, Friday and Saturday initially on selected council operated car parks for a one year period”.

But the council's political opponents say that, while attempts to help city centre traders are welcome, the current plans are confusing, could increase traffic jams and are being described as an "election gimmick".

Liberal Democrat Ann Reid is worried about confusion:

Conservative leader Chris Steward believes the announcement is a political stunt:

And Green leader Andy D'Agorne is worried about increased traffic jams in the city:



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