Tories in bid for free city centre parking

Coun John Pennington

Coun John Pennington

First published in News
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Aire/Worth Valley Reporter

Bradford city centre must woo car drivers with the promise of free parking or face terminal decline, a leading councillor warned yesterday with the backing of the AA.

Councillor John Pennington, the Conservative group’s spokesman for transport, is demanding free on and off-street short stay parking for the coming financial year to help grease the wheels of commerce.

“It’s time to be nice to motorists,” he said.

And his proposal has been endorsed by motorist group the AA, which said last night: “It would definitely boost Bradford’s economy.”

The city’s Chamber of Trade also gave its support to the idea: “It would be wonderful and help redress the balance regarding competition from out-of-town retail sites,” said its secretary Val Summerscales.

The Tory group has added £500,000 in its budget proposals to allow city centre shoppers two hours’ free parking and will present them to a special meeting of the full Council tomorrow.

Coun Pennington said: “People have got no money for tickets, never mind parking fines and if we want them to spend in our shops we’ve got to encourage them here in the first place.

“Bradford’s lost its footfall and if it costs a few quid to get people in then so what?

“If you give a retailer the opportunity of a customer, they will turn that into profit and flourish.

“So we’ve got to offer free, convenient and safe parking.

“The knock-on effect will attract a greater public and even more shops.

“You do not need to spend huge amounts on infrastructure, people regenerate, if given the opportunity'.

Coun Pennington (Bingley) concluded: “I hope the ruling Labour Group adopt my proposals to give existing businesses a much-needed tonic and, for once, show active Council support.”

The AA’s spokesman on road and transport issues Paul Watters said it welcomed Coun Pennington’s idea.

“It’s good to hear the pendulum is swinging the other way in favour of the motorist,” Mr Watters said.

“Drivers are wrestling with high fuel prices with 70 per cent saying that effects their parking and shopping behaviour.

“Everyone from Mary Portas to Eric Pickles and the Department of Transport are urging councils not to hit people with parking tickets and fines.

“It would definitely boost Bradford’s economy.”

Comments (8)

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3:05pm Wed 27 Feb 13

collos25 says...

Its worth a try nothing else this useless council has proposed has worked and they have wasted millions with useless ideas.
Its worth a try nothing else this useless council has proposed has worked and they have wasted millions with useless ideas. collos25
  • Score: 0

3:07pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Albion. says...

“Bradford’s lost its footfall and if it costs a few quid to get people in then so what?"
This despite a certain rose coloured spectacle wearer continually saying that it was increasing.
Interesting that this should happen at exactly the same time as Leeds council are considering bringing in parking charges at their previously free parking places (of course they have the luxury of actually having some shops and Europe's only new shopping mall to be opened this year).
“Bradford’s lost its footfall and if it costs a few quid to get people in then so what?" This despite a certain rose coloured spectacle wearer continually saying that it was increasing. Interesting that this should happen at exactly the same time as Leeds council are considering bringing in parking charges at their previously free parking places (of course they have the luxury of actually having some shops and Europe's only new shopping mall to be opened this year). Albion.
  • Score: 0

3:50pm Wed 27 Feb 13

RollandSmoke says...

Until progress is made on tackling the high numbers of uninsured drivers in Bradford is it really wise to be encouraging those drivers to converge on the city center? Even they may require more to motivate them to make that trip that a free parking spot. Jobs would be nice but all this looks like it is going to do is put some traffic wardens on the dole.
Until progress is made on tackling the high numbers of uninsured drivers in Bradford is it really wise to be encouraging those drivers to converge on the city center? Even they may require more to motivate them to make that trip that a free parking spot. Jobs would be nice but all this looks like it is going to do is put some traffic wardens on the dole. RollandSmoke
  • Score: 0

4:09pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Yorkshire Lass says...

Interesting that the low footfall is one of the reasons why people do not come into the city centre to shop. Having said that couldn't be nothing to do with the lack of decent shops in Bradford, could it? Free parking will not resolve the situation and as Leeds are ready for even more shoppers when their Trinity Centre opens shortly, cannot see free parking making all that much difference!
Interesting that the low footfall is one of the reasons why people do not come into the city centre to shop. Having said that couldn't be nothing to do with the lack of decent shops in Bradford, could it? Free parking will not resolve the situation and as Leeds are ready for even more shoppers when their Trinity Centre opens shortly, cannot see free parking making all that much difference! Yorkshire Lass
  • Score: 0

4:19pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Solomon Grundy says...

Agree with this - and do away with business rates for people taking shop lets as well, a 2 year holiday on that.
Agree with this - and do away with business rates for people taking shop lets as well, a 2 year holiday on that. Solomon Grundy
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Wed 27 Feb 13

cockadoodledo says...

The council could have created a free car park in the. Big hole. There is already r free parking at Forster square retail park.Maybe shoppers could make better use of this t free city town bus from this free car park, perhaps the t&a could give details of the route!
The council could have created a free car park in the. Big hole. There is already r free parking at Forster square retail park.Maybe shoppers could make better use of this t free city town bus from this free car park, perhaps the t&a could give details of the route! cockadoodledo
  • Score: 0

7:26pm Wed 27 Feb 13

steve close says...

Well done Councillor Pennington great idea I can now if you idea get in park my car free whilst I catch the train to Leeds Wakefield or Halifax to do my shopping as those towns have SHOPS. If I was going to vote Tory at the next election well that idea has gone out the window if thats the brain power of our Tory councillors.
Well done Councillor Pennington great idea I can now if you idea get in park my car free whilst I catch the train to Leeds Wakefield or Halifax to do my shopping as those towns have SHOPS. If I was going to vote Tory at the next election well that idea has gone out the window if thats the brain power of our Tory councillors. steve close
  • Score: 0

11:20pm Wed 27 Feb 13

room111124 says...

Is this the same John Pennington who as a Councillor already benefits from free city centre car parking for his Rolls Royce in the Jacobs Well car park? It surely is.
Is this the same John Pennington who as a Councillor already benefits from free city centre car parking for his Rolls Royce in the Jacobs Well car park? It surely is. room111124
  • Score: 0

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