Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Free hour parking for Bradford shoppers rejected
Bradford Council has rejected an idea to introduce an hour’s free street parking for shoppers in the city centre on Saturdays.
A report to the authority’s environmental and waste management overview and scrutiny committee says there is “no business case” for such a move after a three-month study into how often on-street parking bays were used at different ‘zones’ of the city during weekdays and weekends.
The survey took place after members of the committee requested that the Council’s executive review parking charges as part of the budget-setting process and it considered the option of one hour’s free parking on Saturdays.
Council wardens counted the number of cars parked in the pay-and-display bays on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, and at 1pm on Sundays, between August and October.
The idea was rejected because the survey showed parking spaces were still well-used on Saturdays.
Councillor John Pennington, the Council’s Conservative group spokesman for transport, dismissed the study as “overly complicated” and said he believed shoppers should be offered not one, but two hours of free parking to lure them into the city.
“I don’t think they should just do that on a Saturday, but every day in Bradford.
“Retailers have told me that their business would increase if they are given customers and I believe a free parking period for shoppers would regenerate the city centre.
“It’s as simple as that – bring people into the city centre and it will grow.”
According to the study, the busiest parking areas in Bradford city centre were in the Westgate, Broadway and Kirkgate zones, which include Sunbridge Road, Bridge Street and Piccadilly.
A report to the meeting says: “In October, these three zones were on average 90 per cent occupied and this is higher than the October weekday average of 83 per cent. In August, the weekday and Saturday occupancy in these three zones is almost identical.
“In September there was a higher occupancy weekdays at 80 per cent on average compared to a 74 per cent average on Saturdays.
Val Summerscales, secretary of Bradford Chamber of Trade which has previously supported offering a period of free parking to shoppers in the city centre, was not available for comment yesterday.
Comments are closed on this article.