CITY-CENTRE streets are jammed again, following Labour’s U-turn on the bodged Lendal Bridge trial, despite the many beneficial effects, including air quality and better public transport.

While the opening of the new Monk’s Cross stores does present a challenge to city-centre traders, Labour’s free parking plans are ill-considered and risk further transport chaos.

Using £300,000 to underwrite free city-centre parking (taken from £2.6m earmarked from the Vangarde development to deal with congestion around Monk’s Cross) is dubious enough.

Highways officers stated in 2012 that £4m would be needed to respond to the traffic growth and now say the small amount not yet spent can only be allocated if “evidence-based”.

Yet no professional evidence has been provided that free parking is likely to be cost-effective, when compared with, say, funding a trial free city-centre bus service for a year, or launching new bus routes from Haxby and Strensall to the new development.

Either could be funded for this sum, rather than free parking which will create more city centre congestion on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings.

So, if this is the best way to spend limited funding, let’s have the evidence and success criteria.

Cllr Andy D’Agorne, York Green Party group leader, Broadway West York.