INCREASED parking patrols of “gateways into the city centre” will help boost Council income by over £1 million this year.

Recently released financial figures by Bradford Council show that income from “uniformed services” was expected to be £1.1 million higher than originally budgeted by the end of this financial year.

The Telegraph & Argus asked the Council how the service, which includes traffic and enforcement wardens, was able to bring in so much more revenue then originally budgeted.

The response said it had been down to a mix of introducing new parking charges and “more regular” deployment of wardens on roads plagued by anti-social parking.

These include Manningham Lane, Duckworth Lane, Great Horton Road, Canal Road and Thornton Road.

In the Council’s 2019/20 budget, it was estimated that uniformed services would bring in £5.4 million. But halfway through the financial year this income is estimated to reach £6.5 million by April.

With the budget for the service being £3.8 million it means the estimated income for the service will rise from an estimated £1.6 million to £2.7 million.

The financial report said this increased income will help mitigate overspends in other Council departments, including Children's Services.

'It's endangering lives' - man's anger over double yellow line parking on Duckworth Lane

The Council says the increased enforcement has followed complaints from the public over people parking illegally on busy roads.

New parking charges have also been introduced on a number of car parks in the District recently - including evening and weekend charging.

A Bradford Council spokesman said: “Our parking enforcement teams have been focusing on the main gateways into the city centre.

“Cars parked in restricted areas in some of these main roads not only cause a disruption to other road users and pedestrians; they also block the way for ambulances and other emergency vehicles.

“So, we have responded to complaints by from the public by making sure Council Wardens are deployed to these areas more regularly.

“Council Wardens have also spent more time patrolling limited waiting bays and this ensures that there is a greater turnover of cars, particularly in commercial areas where more customers will be able to park to shop.

“We have also made changes to some of our car parks, bringing in hourly rates for some, where there were previously all day charges, and introducing charges to some car parks which were previously only available to permit holders. We have therefore extended the parking offer in some areas.

“Despite these charges, Bradford’s parking charges are broadly in line with other authorities in West Yorkshire.”

Councillor John Pennington, leader of the Conservatives on Bradford Council, has called for the authority to scrap parking charges in town and city centres to help businesses.

He said that while he understood the need for tougher enforcement of illegal parking, he

“It may be bringing in more money, but how many businesses will close down because of parking charges? Businesses need all the support they can get.

“Town centres need free parking to encourage people to come in.

“I think it is outrageous that this much is being raised through charges, it is another tax on the general public.”

Community Action Group Bradford 4 Better has also raised concerns about illegal parking in Bradford, warning that in areas of Bradford parking on the pavement or double yellow lines was becoming “normalised.”
The group has recently started a petition raising concerns about parking on Duckworth Lane in particular, and calling for more enforcement. The petition says: “We want rule breakers punished so that such behaviour does not become ‘normalised’. Antisocial parking outside the takeaways on Duckworth lane is a public danger forcing mothers with prams, wheelchair users and other pedestrians on to the main road as the pavements have been blocked by the illegal parked cars.”

Inayah Sher from the group said: "Illegal parking has become a norm and menace in Bradford. Drivers parking illegally if approached by the the ordinary person they respond with regmarks such as 'what you are going to do about it? Police don’t care? Council don’t care? What business is it of yours?'" 

To sign the petition visit here.