A MAJOR shake-up of parking in York is on the cards - as The Press reveals the huge gulf in revenue between the city's car parks.

Pay-on-exit at many car parks, the potential closure of the least used ones and possible changes to the enforcement of parking and traffic regulations are among various options which will be examined by City of York Council in a wide-ranging review, says transport executive member Ian Gillies.

Head of transport Tony Clarke says parking is being reviewed to meet changing demands, and the council is working closely with the business sector to ensure its policies are fit for the future.

Figures obtained by The Press under the Freedom of Information Act show that York's biggest parking money maker - the Castle Car Park near Clifford's Tower - is generating about £1.25 million a year for the authority. Its next best performer was the Marygate car park, which raised more than half a million pounds a year.

But its least used car park - the Moor Lane car park at Dringhouses, formerly the Askham Bar Park & Ride site - raised less than £10,000 in the same period.

Mr Clarke said officers were reviewing the operation of York's off-street car parks and would be submitting a report identifying options to the Executive early this year.

He said the council periodically reviewed its transport policies, including parking, to meet changing demands, adding: "The council is working closely with the business sector to ensure our parking policies are fit for the future.

"As a world-class destination York attracts a significant number of people each year and so compared to other parts of the region parking income is generally higher.

"However, as an historic city, York presents a unique set of challenges for traffic in the city centre and the council continues to invest significant amounts into its highways and transport.

"The council promotes a number of alternatives to city centre parking such as York’s renowned Park&Ride service, which is one of the most successful P&R’s in the UK, with around four million trips every year and offers free parking.

“These alternatives allow residents and visitors to make the best travel choice using the most environmentally sustainable options."

The council said it was still developing plans for a long term solution for the Moor Lane site, and The Press revealed earlier this week that a new school may be built there.

Cllr Gillies said he supported traders in their desire for pay-on-exit at car parks instead of pay & display where feasible, explaining: "If I have paid to park for an hour at a car park to pop into Barnitts, it might deter me from then going on to Browns or for a coffee if I have to go back to buy another ticket.

"Pay on exit would encourage people to stay on in the city centre for as long as they want, as they would just pay for the time they spent there."

He said he felt the low revenue for Moor Lane confirmed that it was not needed as an overspill for the new Askham Bar park and ride car park, and it should be disposed of.