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Free parking idea for Lincoln rejected by council leader Ric Metcalfe

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

  • Any notion of introducing free parking in Lincoln has been rejected

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City of Lincoln Council leader Ric Metcalfe has rejected any notion of introducing free parking in Lincoln, as new charges are agreed from April 1.

The council, which nets about £4 million annually from parking, is waging a price war on commercial operators to keep costs down.

New tariffs have been approved at its 19 car parks to entice commuters, shoppers and visitors and offer better value for money.

A report to the council's ruling executive added that "there is some unquantifiable potential to increase car park patronage following the introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement".

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Free parking in Brigg has seen shopper numbers double and, as the Echo reported, Conservative county councillor Richard Davies called for a Lincolnshire-wide roll-out.

But Cllr Metcalfe, leader of the city council and a Labour member for the city's Glebe ward, said parking in Lincoln is a "different ball game."

"Making our car parks free is totally unrealistic," he said.

"We are in a totally different ball game from little market towns in Lincolnshire that talk about free parking.

"We are a county city that serves a retail population of 240,000 and a travel to work population of 160,000.

"Parking is not a statutory responsibility of the council, but has become an important source of income to help pay for all the services that people want their council to provide in Lincoln. We are the biggest provider of on-street parking in the city.

"NCP is still a significant presence in the market. We have very distinctive offers and we are trying to cater for the different needs of shoppers, visitors and commuters."

A new £2.50 all day weekend parking fee has been agreed at Broadgate, Rosemary Lane, Sessions House and County Offices – 653 spaces in total.

The charge at shopper car parks including Tentercroft Street has been frozen for 2013/14 at £1.50 for the first hour and £2.50 for two hours, while the three-hour tariff rises to £4.

All other costs for shoppers remain the same, apart from a rise to £3 at Lucy Tower in the evening.

Season tickets have been frozen for the year and the all day commuter charge at Broadgate, Chaplin Street and Rosemary Lane cut to £4.

Three hours' parking for visitors at the Castle, Westgate, The Lawn and Langworthgate rises by 20p to £4.20 and the all day levy increases from £6 to £7.

And Rosemary Lane will have a £2 all day tariff in July and August when Lincoln College is shut.

David Hodson, of Ian Keat Jewellers, in The Strait, said: "The council should be looking at an element of free parking, for example the first hour free."

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  • Pete67  |  January 11 2013, 2:03PM

    TB78WHlNE 'As if it isn't already heavily subsidised' - - - Wasn't the idea of privatisation to stop subsidies, and for it to rely on profits?

  • TB78WHlNE  |  January 11 2013, 11:36AM

    "Will there be free public transport too?" As if it isn't already heavily subsidised. God forbid you actually pay for something when everyone else can pay for it for you, eh?

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  • Roadscource  |  January 11 2013, 11:22AM

    "Maybe it's nearer to a bank that does offshore banking" Top comment Pete67, nice one.

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  • Pete67  |  January 11 2013, 7:56AM

    Roadscource "Its similar to the strange ritual of when a business is doing well it seems they have to open an office in the middle of London to be recognised, why?" - - - Maybe it's nearer to a bank that does offshore banking.

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  • Ian_Heighton  |  January 10 2013, 11:15PM

    Isn't it illegal for Councils to make a profit from parking?

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  • S_Morrissey  |  January 10 2013, 9:52PM

    Will there be free public transport too?

    |   -3
  • Roadscource  |  January 10 2013, 4:41PM

    Pete67, ive never understood why all shops have to be located in a City Centre. Its similar to the strange ritual of when a business is doing well it seems they have to open an office in the middle of London to be recognised, why?

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  • Pete67  |  January 10 2013, 1:31PM

    Roadscource - Where I last worked (last), there was a car park (rough land), which was always full of cars. The council took the land over tarmacked it, and started charging. These days it is always almost empty, and has been ever since they started charging. Not only do motorists suffer the charge, but any shops where people may be inclined to buy from will find they have less trade. The council of course will put the rates (and rents if they own the building), up to compensate. This just carries on until ALL the shops have gone. A lot of people are now buying from the Internet, but a lot of that is likely from the case of the shopkeepers being unable to compete on price due to the overheads imposed.

  • Roadscource  |  January 10 2013, 11:45AM

    "but car parks have to be built and maintained" No they dont, we could all park on the City Centre Streets but oh no the Council have out manouvred us there too with the "Resident Parking Scheme", renting out the roads we have ALREADY been charged to use. "Fleece or increase? They'll just do both anyway" And dont forget the double charging as ive just explained.

    |   -9
  • Pete67  |  January 10 2013, 11:13AM

    Roadscource - Fleece or increase? They'll just do both anyway (as usual).

    |   -1