A new report which says Sheffield’s residential parking zones should see a 40% price hike has been removed from Sheffield Council’s website.
In it, the report states that cheaper petrol costs and rising public transport costs mean drivers may be using cars more instead - and proposes a parking fee increase to dissuade people.
The report has been pulled - but you can read the report HERE. We’ve scanned in the paper version we printed off, and have uploaded the most salient bits here, so that you can read the report and draw your own conclusions.
The council’s transport and parking manager, Paul Fell, says in the document: “The net result of motoring costs reducing, and public transport costs increasing over time, will be that car trips become relatively cheaper and drivers are therefore less likely to choose more sustainable modes of travel for at least some of their trips.
“The way in which the council can affect the marginal cost of using the car is via parking charges.
“Increasing the parking tariff will impact on decisions made by car drivers on whether or not to use a car for a trip where there are alternative modes of travel which might be utilised.”
A final decision on the charges will be made on Thursday – but the report adds that the council does not need to consult people on ‘straightforward tariff changes’, which were last increased in 2013.
Coun Mahzer Iqbal said he ‘completely distances himself’ from the document. He said: “The report is unacceptable and I have had it pulled. I completely distance myself from those comments in the report.
“Why the heck would the council want to penalise drivers financially in these difficult times?
“If fuel prices are going down, that’s a good thing. We don’t want to bleed more money out of people. It’s nonsense.
“I am a member of the Fairness Commission. For the past few years, I have been fighting to see an increase in the living wage and reduce the pressures that families face.”
He added that transport issues need a ‘common sense approach’, adding: “Officers are saying that in certain parts of the city you shouldn’t be allowed to take a car. To me, that’s unacceptable. It’s not your fault if public transport isn’t available on every street.”
Coun Iqbal said Sheffield parking charges were ‘quite modest’ compared to Leeds or Manchester. He added: “This is the first increase since 2013 and we have kept the price of residents’ permits the same.”
A decision was due to be made on Thursday.