OPINION: Parking cost is too high

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Parking fees and fines are always a contentious issue.

Today we reveal – with data obtained through The Star’s Your Right to Know campaign – income from pay and display machines in the past 12 months hit £4,722,166.

The figures also show almost 25,000 parking fines were handed out to drivers during the same time period – racking up about £1.7 million.

Sheffield Council says all parking income is used to pay for enforcement, improved parking facilities, public transport or highways.

Within the figures is a particularly interesting statistic that although Sheffield is the fourth largest city in England there are more than 50 other authorities in and out of London who generate more income from parking fines and fees.

It is a line trumpeted by the council as a positive.

However, looking at it from the other direction, could it be that it shows the city centre isn’t a destination of choice for shoppers using their cars?

There’s no doubt parking restrictions hamper city centre businesses, which benefits out of town shopping centres.

Maybe it is time to have an honest re-think about whether Sheffield can do something totally different in this area.