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Bradford parking cost ‘one of lowest in country’
Parking charges in Bradford city centre are among the cheapest in the country, it has been claimed.
The claim was made during a debate over whether free parking periods should be offered to tempt shoppers into the city.
Bradford Council officers have been monitoring driver use since the introduction of 200 extra pay and display parking bays in the city centre, most of which had previously been for free limited waiting.
Environment and sport director Ian Bairstow told councillors at an environment and waste management committee meeting last night that the demand for the parking spaces had not decreased since the new pay and display bays were introduced.
Drivers can now stay for two hours and pay 70p for the first hour and £1.40 for up to two hours.
Bradford Chamber of Trade has called for free on street parking to bring more shoppers into the city, and Council officers were asked to look at the possibility of offering a short period of free parking.
But they have warned there could be a potential loss of £90,000 a year if a 20-minute free parking period was brought in.
Warden patrols would have to be doubled to monitor usage, or pay and display machines would have to be reprogrammed to issue free tickets.
Paul Ratcliffe, parking services co-ordinator, told the meeting: “There are more vehicles parking in the city centre than there were before we introduced the charges.
“We are the cheapest local authority in the area, and the cheapest bar one for the whole of the country for a city of this size (for parking charges), substantially cheaper than Leeds, Halifax and Kirklees.”
Councillor Michael McCabe (Conservative, Thornton and Allerton) said the cost to the Council of free parking would be offset by more people coming in and spending their money, rather than in Halifax, and suggested there could be an hour’s free parking on a Saturday.
The committee agreed to recommend to the Council Executive that the use of the new pay and display areas be reviewed annually – and asked it to consider the option of having one hour’s free parking on a Saturday.