Liverpool City Council take major step toward ending free parking after 6pm - how to have your say

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Results of a public engagement exercise held last year revealed almost 90% of respondents were against any changes to the existing system.

Liverpool Council has taken another major step towards ending free parking in the city centre after 6pm.

Despite almost universal opposition to plans, the local authority announced last November how it was considering scrapping free evening parking as part of a revamp of on-street provision across the city centre. Currently, drivers can leave their cars on the road without charge from 6pm.

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Now, the council has launched a much delayed consultation into extending parking charges to run from 7am to 11pm and increase the tariff by 10p per half hour. The statutory consultation launched by the city council today will run for four weeks until August 10.

It is expected the move could raise around £1.6m for the cash strapped authority. The plans for a consultation were first put forward under previous Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson in March.

Parking charges now: Currently, 30 minutes parking costs £1.20, this would go up to £1.30. Up to an hour would increase to £2.50 from £2.40.

However, results of a public engagement exercise held in December have revealed how almost 90% of respondents were against any changes to the existing system. Around 1,500 people responded to the initial non-statutory exercise before Christmas and as a result, it has been recommended plans for a two-hour maximum stay be shelved.

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Reasons for ending free parking after 6pm: Liverpool Council said ‘significant changes are required’ to ‘address the congestion and traffic management issues.’

The local authority added: “To support local businesses and residents, an extension to the hours of operation to between 7am and 11pm will make more spaces available for those who have residents and business permits. The proposals will ensure better management of on-street parking in the evening, contributing to the reduction in congestion and poor air quality and improving road safety for all users by reducing unsafe parking practices. The existing CPZ has designated parking places within specified times for pay and display, loading and unloading, business parking, residents parking, doctors parking and taxi stands.

“The majority of these bays are currently available free of charge for anyone wishing to park after 6pm and before 8am. The proposal to extend the end time of the CPZ to 11pm will result in some of these bays being changed to other types of parking, ie. pay and display, disabled and residents after 6pm to ensure that there are still available parking opportunities. An increase in the parking charges by 10p per half hour will help to cover the cost of the changes required and contribute to the ongoing operation and enforcement of the CPZ. The proposed new charge will still be significantly lower than other Core Cities across the UK.”

It is thought that until parking behaviour improves, extended hours of charging could generate enforcement revenues “broadly estimated at £240,000” at which point the council forecasts revenue will reduce proportionately.

Have your say: Those wishing to take part in the consultation can do so via Liverpool Council’s website, with hard copies of relevant documents available at city libraries.

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