York's free parking initiative hailed a huge success

The Castle car park in York on Saturday

The Castle car park in York on Saturday

First published in News
Last updated
by , Court reporter

BUSINESSES in York have called for a repeat of Saturday’s successful free car-parking initiative and a complete rethink on parking charges.

York thronged with shoppers and tourists on Saturday after City of York Council lifted parking charges in its car parks for 24 hours in a bid to draw more people into the centre. Shops reported greatly increased trade.

Frank Wood, of Braithwaite Jewellers in Goodramgate, said it had been busy with customers all day.

“It has been a tremendous success,” he said. “It’s been absolutely fantastic. I am on City Team York and it will certainly come up on the agenda. We will be talking to the council for a repeat because it has been a success.”

City Team York is a group consisting of retailers, the council and a range of professional and businesses organisations focused on improving the city’s economy.

Mr Wood said the key was good promotion and people who would not normally come into the city knowing about it. He had talked to a couple of people who had used the Park&Ride service because they were unaware they could park for free in the city centre.

He said because it cost the council a lot of money, free parking should be reserved for days when the city would normally be quiet.

Adam Sinclair, of Mulberry Hall, who expects to play a leading role in City Team York, also said the city centre had been very busy and he was expecting official figures to show a “significant rise” in the number of people in the city centre.

“It is clear evidence that we need to restructure parking charges in York to boost the day-time economy, financial economy and the financial and professional services in the city,” he said.

The city centre needed to combat competiton from the internet and out of town shopping centres with free parking, he said.

“It needs to be a very simple car parking structure in York for the modern era.”

He said for free parking to be a success, people in, Doncaster and Middlesbrough, for example, needed to know when the offer was running, so it could not be introduced on an ad-hoc basis.

Comments (26)

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10:28am Mon 3 Feb 14

YorkPatrol says...

Free Parking a success...... shock horror
Free Parking a success...... shock horror YorkPatrol
  • Score: -27

10:49am Mon 3 Feb 14

sheps lad says...

Owt for nowt? Guaranteed success!
Owt for nowt? Guaranteed success! sheps lad
  • Score: -30

10:52am Mon 3 Feb 14

pedalling paul says...

So what were the impact delays for bus services including P&R? That MUST be and remain a crucial part of any evaluation. Success cannot simply be measured in terms of Adam Sinclair's till receipts.
So what were the impact delays for bus services including P&R? That MUST be and remain a crucial part of any evaluation. Success cannot simply be measured in terms of Adam Sinclair's till receipts. pedalling paul
  • Score: 19

10:53am Mon 3 Feb 14

Rosieposie says...

Not necessarily, I was coming in to York something I do regularly and the parking was chaos, 15-20 cars circling Marygate waiting for a space, same at Cliffords Tower. Needs a bit better organisation. I did find a spot just before I headed for the NCP but it was very frustrating.
Not necessarily, I was coming in to York something I do regularly and the parking was chaos, 15-20 cars circling Marygate waiting for a space, same at Cliffords Tower. Needs a bit better organisation. I did find a spot just before I headed for the NCP but it was very frustrating. Rosieposie
  • Score: -38

10:55am Mon 3 Feb 14

BL2 says...

Definitely needs better publicity though. Talking to some workers and a business owner in York, they had no idea this was!
Definitely needs better publicity though. Talking to some workers and a business owner in York, they had no idea this was! BL2
  • Score: -34

10:57am Mon 3 Feb 14

whitehorse says...

Was really useful for me to park in Marygate so I could catch the train to Leeds!
Was really useful for me to park in Marygate so I could catch the train to Leeds! whitehorse
  • Score: -36

11:30am Mon 3 Feb 14

tonyfromitaly says...

I wish City Team York would take over the council. Anythings better than the looney lot in charge now.
I wish City Team York would take over the council. Anythings better than the looney lot in charge now. tonyfromitaly
  • Score: -12

11:42am Mon 3 Feb 14

markymmark says...

It was a fantastic success - say those who profited from it.

The losers as usual will be York Council Tax payers. I thought the excuse for sky high parking charges was to keep cars OUT of York city centre !
It was a fantastic success - say those who profited from it. The losers as usual will be York Council Tax payers. I thought the excuse for sky high parking charges was to keep cars OUT of York city centre ! markymmark
  • Score: 5

11:53am Mon 3 Feb 14

meme says...

The City was buzzing and this was great initiative from the council
and Pedalling Paul not everything revolves round bikes and busses!
If the lights with priority for busses wok and |Lendal bridge closure allowing busses is such a good idea then there is enough priority most of the time for non car transport.
what is clear is the car is still the key choice of transport for visitors to York and just because this does not fit your personal preferences is no reason spout sour grapes
The City was buzzing and this was great initiative from the council and Pedalling Paul not everything revolves round bikes and busses! If the lights with priority for busses wok and |Lendal bridge closure allowing busses is such a good idea then there is enough priority most of the time for non car transport. what is clear is the car is still the key choice of transport for visitors to York and just because this does not fit your personal preferences is no reason spout sour grapes meme
  • Score: -18

1:14pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Alf Garnett says...

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Alf Garnett
  • Score: 36

1:15pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Alf Garnett says...

tonyfromitaly wrote:
I wish City Team York would take over the council. Anythings better than the looney lot in charge now.
Not "Looney Lefties" ?
[quote][p][bold]tonyfromitaly[/bold] wrote: I wish City Team York would take over the council. Anythings better than the looney lot in charge now.[/p][/quote]Not "Looney Lefties" ? Alf Garnett
  • Score: 33

1:18pm Mon 3 Feb 14

bloodaxe says...

Nice to see Parliament Street completely traffic free.
Nice to see Parliament Street completely traffic free. bloodaxe
  • Score: 26

1:20pm Mon 3 Feb 14

bloodaxe says...

markymmark wrote:
It was a fantastic success - say those who profited from it.

The losers as usual will be York Council Tax payers. I thought the excuse for sky high parking charges was to keep cars OUT of York city centre !
Aren't the vast majority of car parks outside the walls anyway ?
[quote][p][bold]markymmark[/bold] wrote: It was a fantastic success - say those who profited from it. The losers as usual will be York Council Tax payers. I thought the excuse for sky high parking charges was to keep cars OUT of York city centre ![/p][/quote]Aren't the vast majority of car parks outside the walls anyway ? bloodaxe
  • Score: 89

1:32pm Mon 3 Feb 14

strangebuttrue? says...

Good to see that what most of us have been saying for a long time has been proven to be correct - the councils anti car policies are killing the city centre and crippling York's economy.
.
It would not be any use advertising this further. As we know, one of the councils anti car policies is to restrict the amount of parking to bully motorist into not venturing into the city so any more trying to get in would just find themselves driving round in circles.
Good to see that what most of us have been saying for a long time has been proven to be correct - the councils anti car policies are killing the city centre and crippling York's economy. . It would not be any use advertising this further. As we know, one of the councils anti car policies is to restrict the amount of parking to bully motorist into not venturing into the city so any more trying to get in would just find themselves driving round in circles. strangebuttrue?
  • Score: -43

1:58pm Mon 3 Feb 14

CaroleBaines says...

strangebuttrue? wrote:
Good to see that what most of us have been saying for a long time has been proven to be correct - the councils anti car policies are killing the city centre and crippling York's economy.
.
It would not be any use advertising this further. As we know, one of the councils anti car policies is to restrict the amount of parking to bully motorist into not venturing into the city so any more trying to get in would just find themselves driving round in circles.
Killing city centre? Crippling York's economy? I thought recent economic results showed York to be thriving and its centre?

Not sure what the amnesty achieves, but I guess not the worst idea in a traditionally slow trading time of year.
[quote][p][bold]strangebuttrue?[/bold] wrote: Good to see that what most of us have been saying for a long time has been proven to be correct - the councils anti car policies are killing the city centre and crippling York's economy. . It would not be any use advertising this further. As we know, one of the councils anti car policies is to restrict the amount of parking to bully motorist into not venturing into the city so any more trying to get in would just find themselves driving round in circles.[/p][/quote]Killing city centre? Crippling York's economy? I thought recent economic results showed York to be thriving and its centre? Not sure what the amnesty achieves, but I guess not the worst idea in a traditionally slow trading time of year. CaroleBaines
  • Score: 47

2:00pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Big Bad Wolf says...

I think it would make great sense to have the first Saturday in the month as "Free Parking Saturday"
Even PP could go with this if it helps the city centre traders?
I think it would make great sense to have the first Saturday in the month as "Free Parking Saturday" Even PP could go with this if it helps the city centre traders? Big Bad Wolf
  • Score: -36

3:58pm Mon 3 Feb 14

MarkyMarkMark says...

Certainly do it regularly - perhaps 1st Sat of every month - and then see how much difference it makes longer term - say over a couple of years. I suspect it's not such a popular activity if it happens often.

Someone needs to do the rest of the comparison and see how much trade didn't/doesn't happen over the few days either side - i.e. were people who would have come anyway just being opportunistic (and why not?!) and saving a parking fee by moving to a nearby day because they could?

Personal note - I forgot, and made the mistake of trying to drive from Acomb to the tip off James St.. Big mistake - took me 30 minutes to do a journey that normally only takes 15, even on a Saturday. So I guess other services - buses and taxis - must have been affected too?
Certainly do it regularly - perhaps 1st Sat of every month - and then see how much difference it makes longer term - say over a couple of years. I suspect it's not such a popular activity if it happens often. Someone needs to do the rest of the comparison and see how much trade didn't/doesn't happen over the few days either side - i.e. were people who would have come anyway just being opportunistic (and why not?!) and saving a parking fee by moving to a nearby day because they could? Personal note - I forgot, and made the mistake of trying to drive from Acomb to the tip off James St.. Big mistake - took me 30 minutes to do a journey that normally only takes 15, even on a Saturday. So I guess other services - buses and taxis - must have been affected too? MarkyMarkMark
  • Score: -36

4:44pm Mon 3 Feb 14

greenmonkey says...

Strange how the suggestion of moving free evening parking for residents from 6pm to 5pm 'must have a business case' ie work out where the lost income is covered, but this was just done anyway. So average Saturday in January income from car parking that has been lost is going to be paid for from the Lendal Bridge fines? A one off might be OK but doing on a regular basis would cost much more and end up being limited by the level of increased congestion and frustration on the streets around the car parks!
Strange how the suggestion of moving free evening parking for residents from 6pm to 5pm 'must have a business case' ie work out where the lost income is covered, but this was just done anyway. So average Saturday in January income from car parking that has been lost is going to be paid for from the Lendal Bridge fines? A one off might be OK but doing on a regular basis would cost much more and end up being limited by the level of increased congestion and frustration on the streets around the car parks! greenmonkey
  • Score: 39

4:47pm Mon 3 Feb 14

greenmonkey says...

"Mr Wood said the key was good promotion and people who would not normally come into the city knowing about it. He had talked to a couple of people who had used the Park&Ride service because they were unaware they could park for free in the city centre."
Just as well some continued to use park and ride - so if the intention is to boost city centre trade why not offer half price parking and half price park and ride fares? That would at least not disadvantage those doing the right thing and parking outside the city.
"Mr Wood said the key was good promotion and people who would not normally come into the city knowing about it. He had talked to a couple of people who had used the Park&Ride service because they were unaware they could park for free in the city centre." Just as well some continued to use park and ride - so if the intention is to boost city centre trade why not offer half price parking and half price park and ride fares? That would at least not disadvantage those doing the right thing and parking outside the city. greenmonkey
  • Score: 10

5:21pm Mon 3 Feb 14

zaccwm says...

Not surprisingly congestion was up, had to drive 20 mile round trip rather than 6 to get round it to get to the out of town DIY store. It is hard to see the thinking behind closing Lendal bridge then free parking, policies appear contradictory
Not surprisingly congestion was up, had to drive 20 mile round trip rather than 6 to get round it to get to the out of town DIY store. It is hard to see the thinking behind closing Lendal bridge then free parking, policies appear contradictory zaccwm
  • Score: -9

5:22pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Caecilius says...

meme wrote:
The City was buzzing and this was great initiative from the council
and Pedalling Paul not everything revolves round bikes and busses!
If the lights with priority for busses wok and |Lendal bridge closure allowing busses is such a good idea then there is enough priority most of the time for non car transport.
what is clear is the car is still the key choice of transport for visitors to York and just because this does not fit your personal preferences is no reason spout sour grapes
You've got it back to front. Nobody has ever claimed that everything should revolve round bikes and buses, just that the thousands of people who pay council tax in York and who choose to travel by bike or bus are entitled to have reasonable provision made for them. However, a lot of motorists incessantly demand that everything should revolve round the car, and to hell with everyone else. When the council gives in to them, as on this occasion, the result is entirely predictable - they create more congestion than ever (see MarkyMarkMark's comment), and inflict the consequences on every other road user.
[quote][p][bold]meme[/bold] wrote: The City was buzzing and this was great initiative from the council and Pedalling Paul not everything revolves round bikes and busses! If the lights with priority for busses wok and |Lendal bridge closure allowing busses is such a good idea then there is enough priority most of the time for non car transport. what is clear is the car is still the key choice of transport for visitors to York and just because this does not fit your personal preferences is no reason spout sour grapes[/p][/quote]You've got it back to front. Nobody has ever claimed that everything should revolve round bikes and buses, just that the thousands of people who pay council tax in York and who choose to travel by bike or bus are entitled to have reasonable provision made for them. However, a lot of motorists incessantly demand that everything should revolve round the car, and to hell with everyone else. When the council gives in to them, as on this occasion, the result is entirely predictable - they create more congestion than ever (see MarkyMarkMark's comment), and inflict the consequences on every other road user. Caecilius
  • Score: 11

5:30pm Mon 3 Feb 14

strangebuttrue? says...

CaroleBaines wrote:
strangebuttrue? wrote:
Good to see that what most of us have been saying for a long time has been proven to be correct - the councils anti car policies are killing the city centre and crippling York's economy.
.
It would not be any use advertising this further. As we know, one of the councils anti car policies is to restrict the amount of parking to bully motorist into not venturing into the city so any more trying to get in would just find themselves driving round in circles.
Killing city centre? Crippling York's economy? I thought recent economic results showed York to be thriving and its centre?

Not sure what the amnesty achieves, but I guess not the worst idea in a traditionally slow trading time of year.
I believe I have duplicated part of the report you refer to below. This report has nothing to do with the city centre and the parts published in the press show that we do not appear to be having a problem with unemployment. It is actually meaningless as we do not know from this if the number employable people in York has remained stable, risen or fallen. I think someone said the other day of it, or something similar. "A story without a beginning or end".
Yes the report is headed "thriving economy" but is this just spin?. Nothing in the actual press article shows a thriving economy.

If the city centre was thriving do you think the council would take these actions to try to get people in after all the effort and the millions they have spent over the years bullying car drivers out? You should not believe all you read Carole or you may end up putting your money on the wrong horse!

From the press article:-
"The city has enjoyed a three per cent rise in employment since the last annual Cities Outlook report, making it sixth best in the UK for falling unemployment. However, York still remains one of the most expensive in the UK to rent or buy a home.

The report, published by Centre for Cities, also puts York in the top ten cities with the highest employment rate, and it is the only city in the North of England in the top ten to have the lowest levels of inequality.

York is also ranked in the top five cities with the lowest Job Seekers Allowance claimant count and also had a top ten showing in the cities with least number of residents without formal qualifications."
[quote][p][bold]CaroleBaines[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]strangebuttrue?[/bold] wrote: Good to see that what most of us have been saying for a long time has been proven to be correct - the councils anti car policies are killing the city centre and crippling York's economy. . It would not be any use advertising this further. As we know, one of the councils anti car policies is to restrict the amount of parking to bully motorist into not venturing into the city so any more trying to get in would just find themselves driving round in circles.[/p][/quote]Killing city centre? Crippling York's economy? I thought recent economic results showed York to be thriving and its centre? Not sure what the amnesty achieves, but I guess not the worst idea in a traditionally slow trading time of year.[/p][/quote]I believe I have duplicated part of the report you refer to below. This report has nothing to do with the city centre and the parts published in the press show that we do not appear to be having a problem with unemployment. It is actually meaningless as we do not know from this if the number employable people in York has remained stable, risen or fallen. I think someone said the other day of it, or something similar. "A story without a beginning or end". Yes the report is headed "thriving economy" but is this just spin?. Nothing in the actual press article shows a thriving economy. If the city centre was thriving do you think the council would take these actions to try to get people in after all the effort and the millions they have spent over the years bullying car drivers out? You should not believe all you read Carole or you may end up putting your money on the wrong horse! From the press article:- "The city has enjoyed a three per cent rise in employment since the last annual Cities Outlook report, making it sixth best in the UK for falling unemployment. However, York still remains one of the most expensive in the UK to rent or buy a home. The report, published by Centre for Cities, also puts York in the top ten cities with the highest employment rate, and it is the only city in the North of England in the top ten to have the lowest levels of inequality. York is also ranked in the top five cities with the lowest Job Seekers Allowance claimant count and also had a top ten showing in the cities with least number of residents without formal qualifications." strangebuttrue?
  • Score: -7

5:48pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Buzzz Light-year says...

I was in town on Saturday. It was awful. The vibe was nasty, it was full of pushy people fighting for space and fighting for goods. Bad scene.
I was in town on Saturday. It was awful. The vibe was nasty, it was full of pushy people fighting for space and fighting for goods. Bad scene. Buzzz Light-year
  • Score: 8

7:42am Tue 4 Feb 14

pedalling paul says...

meme wrote:
The City was buzzing and this was great initiative from the council
and Pedalling Paul not everything revolves round bikes and busses!
If the lights with priority for busses wok and |Lendal bridge closure allowing busses is such a good idea then there is enough priority most of the time for non car transport.
what is clear is the car is still the key choice of transport for visitors to York and just because this does not fit your personal preferences is no reason spout sour grapes
Some of the subsequent comments about driving round in circles looking for parking space, speak volumes don't they. But maybe that's how you want to waste your time, But do spare a thought for the delays that you've caused to bus & taxi passengers, blue badge holders and deliveries while exercising your perceived "right to drive".
[quote][p][bold]meme[/bold] wrote: The City was buzzing and this was great initiative from the council and Pedalling Paul not everything revolves round bikes and busses! If the lights with priority for busses wok and |Lendal bridge closure allowing busses is such a good idea then there is enough priority most of the time for non car transport. what is clear is the car is still the key choice of transport for visitors to York and just because this does not fit your personal preferences is no reason spout sour grapes[/p][/quote]Some of the subsequent comments about driving round in circles looking for parking space, speak volumes don't they. But maybe that's how you want to waste your time, But do spare a thought for the delays that you've caused to bus & taxi passengers, blue badge holders and deliveries while exercising your perceived "right to drive". pedalling paul
  • Score: 43

8:18am Tue 4 Feb 14

CaroleBaines says...

pedalling paul wrote:
meme wrote:
The City was buzzing and this was great initiative from the council
and Pedalling Paul not everything revolves round bikes and busses!
If the lights with priority for busses wok and |Lendal bridge closure allowing busses is such a good idea then there is enough priority most of the time for non car transport.
what is clear is the car is still the key choice of transport for visitors to York and just because this does not fit your personal preferences is no reason spout sour grapes
Some of the subsequent comments about driving round in circles looking for parking space, speak volumes don't they. But maybe that's how you want to waste your time, But do spare a thought for the delays that you've caused to bus & taxi passengers, blue badge holders and deliveries while exercising your perceived "right to drive".
I would agree with that, but I'd also temper it by suggesting that the super-high parking charges are not the answer either. Not until we have a public transport system that provides an easy to use, cheap alternative.

I am all for recognising that we cannot build our way out of traffic chaos, but providing credible alternatives and by that I mean more than just painting some pretty cycle lanes on tarmac, is the only answer. Trams or at least cheap buses that do not get caught up in queues please. Not everyone cycles, not everyone can and its hardly the way to transport shopping home.
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]meme[/bold] wrote: The City was buzzing and this was great initiative from the council and Pedalling Paul not everything revolves round bikes and busses! If the lights with priority for busses wok and |Lendal bridge closure allowing busses is such a good idea then there is enough priority most of the time for non car transport. what is clear is the car is still the key choice of transport for visitors to York and just because this does not fit your personal preferences is no reason spout sour grapes[/p][/quote]Some of the subsequent comments about driving round in circles looking for parking space, speak volumes don't they. But maybe that's how you want to waste your time, But do spare a thought for the delays that you've caused to bus & taxi passengers, blue badge holders and deliveries while exercising your perceived "right to drive".[/p][/quote]I would agree with that, but I'd also temper it by suggesting that the super-high parking charges are not the answer either. Not until we have a public transport system that provides an easy to use, cheap alternative. I am all for recognising that we cannot build our way out of traffic chaos, but providing credible alternatives and by that I mean more than just painting some pretty cycle lanes on tarmac, is the only answer. Trams or at least cheap buses that do not get caught up in queues please. Not everyone cycles, not everyone can and its hardly the way to transport shopping home. CaroleBaines
  • Score: 1

9:54am Tue 4 Feb 14

strangebuttrue? says...

pedalling paul wrote:
meme wrote:
The City was buzzing and this was great initiative from the council
and Pedalling Paul not everything revolves round bikes and busses!
If the lights with priority for busses wok and |Lendal bridge closure allowing busses is such a good idea then there is enough priority most of the time for non car transport.
what is clear is the car is still the key choice of transport for visitors to York and just because this does not fit your personal preferences is no reason spout sour grapes
Some of the subsequent comments about driving round in circles looking for parking space, speak volumes don't they. But maybe that's how you want to waste your time, But do spare a thought for the delays that you've caused to bus & taxi passengers, blue badge holders and deliveries while exercising your perceived "right to drive".
No Paul that will be how the council waste our time and create even more pollution in our city. The council have said, when referring to the temporary car park which opened without planning permission which they subsequently refused, that it was not in keeping with council anti car policies.

I wondered when the score adjusters were going to wake up. Bit late on this one as most had read it by the time they got out of bed.
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]meme[/bold] wrote: The City was buzzing and this was great initiative from the council and Pedalling Paul not everything revolves round bikes and busses! If the lights with priority for busses wok and |Lendal bridge closure allowing busses is such a good idea then there is enough priority most of the time for non car transport. what is clear is the car is still the key choice of transport for visitors to York and just because this does not fit your personal preferences is no reason spout sour grapes[/p][/quote]Some of the subsequent comments about driving round in circles looking for parking space, speak volumes don't they. But maybe that's how you want to waste your time, But do spare a thought for the delays that you've caused to bus & taxi passengers, blue badge holders and deliveries while exercising your perceived "right to drive".[/p][/quote]No Paul that will be how the council waste our time and create even more pollution in our city. The council have said, when referring to the temporary car park which opened without planning permission which they subsequently refused, that it was not in keeping with council anti car policies. I wondered when the score adjusters were going to wake up. Bit late on this one as most had read it by the time they got out of bed. strangebuttrue?
  • Score: 0

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