Calderdale Council proposes parking charges for Halifax

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Free Saturday parking could be scrapped in Halifax under new proposals being put forward.

Calderdale Council wants to introduce a £1 charge and is also considering bringing in evening charges.

The council said the changes would allow customers to park closer to the shops and stop commuters and employees taking up free spaces.

But, the Mid-Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce said it feared councils viewed parking charges as a "cash cow".

The authority has put up notices advertising the proposed changes. People have 21 days to make formal objections.

Under the proposals, evening charging hours would be extended by two hours from 18:00 to 20:00 Monday to Saturday and free parking on Saturdays would be stopped at Cross Hills, Victoria Street, High Street and Mulcture Hall Road.

'Empty shops'

The council also wants to introduce a maximum daily charge of £3 from Monday to Friday in eight car parks. Currently motorists can pay up to £5.

Notice of the proposed changes comes days after Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles warned councils against imposing "Draconian" parking policies.

Councillor Barry Collins said the review of parking would "make it easier for shoppers, visitors and residents to find a more convenient parking space nearer to their destination".

He said the introduction of a long-stay maximum charge would be beneficial for commuters.

Steven Leigh, head of policy for Mid-Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, however, said the impact of charging for car parking could be "devastating".

"I think that councils, not just Calderdale, view car parking charges as a cash cow.

"Evidence up and down the country as to the efficacy of council schemes is there for everyone to see, which is empty shops and town centres that are devastated."

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