PARKING to shop in Sheffield city centre could cost drivers up to £16 - as motorists face ‘ridiculous’ fee hikes in coming weeks.
On-street parking charges are soaring by 17 per cent, from £1.70 to £2 per hour, to help Sheffield Council raise extra income and offset the impact of £50 million Government cuts.
And, although the current one-hour waiting limit is being removed, fees for longer stays in the city centre will be £4 for two hours, £8 for four hours and £16 for eight hours.
Motorists and shopkeepers all today warned the fees will drive visitors away from city centre shops.
Wayne Biney, of Pinstone Street fashion store Naked Ape, said: “Putting up on-street parking charges doesn’t make sense. It will deter more people than those who might be attracted by being able to park for longer.
“It seems ridiculous that they would introduce such excessive charges.”
Mac Millard, a former member of Sheffield Motorists’ Forum, from Longley, said: “It’s disgusting. The council will have no-one coming into the city centre at all. Sixteen pounds for a full day? They’ve lost the plot.”
Lib Dem councillor Ian Auckland, Sheffield Council’s opposition business spokesman, said: “This is simply the wrong decision at a time when high streets are feeling the pinch and independent traders are searching for new ways to boost income.
“Councillors who claim to be business-friendly are giving local traders a kick in the teeth.”
It is unclear when the changes will come into effect.
Sheffield Council had planned to implement the higher charges for on-street spaces from April 15 - and reduce fees in its car parks from Tuesday this week - but the changes have been delayed due to ‘technical problems’.
Officials said they still intend to introduce the new charges ‘this spring’ but dates have not yet been set.