Sheffield Council back-tracks on proposed parking charge increase

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Sheffield Council has back-tracked on a plan to raise parking charges after a public backlash and opposition from a cabinet member.

The authority was due to decide today whether or not to increase the cost of parking in on-street bays outside the city centre from 50p to 70p.

But after The Star highlighted the plan, leading to massive opposition from readers, and cabinet member for transport and infrastructure Mazher Iqbal distanced himself from the idea, the council cancelled today’s meeting and pulled the officers’ report.

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Coun Iqbal said: “We don’t want to increase parking fees, but cuts to our budget mean we have been looking at these increases.

“However, the report has now been withdrawn. I will now consider this issue in more detail before any final decisions are made.”

The withdrawn report said cheaper petrol prices and higher public transport costs meant more people were being tempted to use their cars, and increasing parking charges was a way to influence whether people drove when other forms of transport were available.

But motorists said the council was simply trying to make more money.

Before the report was taken down, Paul Webster said: “It’s nothing to do with trying to get people out of their cars and onto public transport It’s purely a way of making more money and hitting car drivers once again.

“The council should at least be honest, but then again they’ve always had difficulty being honest with the people they are supposed to serve.”

Wayne Cefferty added: “As usual the council is making the ordinary person pay for the incompetent running of the council budgets and wasted money.

“If this was to get us into Sheffield and out of cars they would use the parking money to subsidise the bus fares. They should try getting the money out of the scroungers who don’t pay the council charge.”

Steve Shaw said: “I travel round the UK a bit and Sheffield’s charges are higher than most places outside London. Do they want to regenerate the centre or not, or just push everyone to Meadowhall with plenty of free parking?”

And John Cook said: “They want us to visit Sheffield and spend out money in shops and then they deter us with this. No wonder out of town shopping is so popular and the town centre is getting more like a wasteland every day.”

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