April 23

Parking Charges Consultation

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In mid 2022 the Chamber published a paper on parking and identified to the council that the greatest issue was the anomaly that parking charges are applieid in Dewsbury but not elsewhere in North Kirklees.

This is manifestly unfair on Dewsbury business and there are several incidences of business moving out of Dewsbury for this specfic reason.

By late 2023 the council was in a financial crises and the opportunity to resolve this long standing anomaly exists.  Not surprisingly, there have been objections raised by many who are concerned only with the negative impact of higher costs.  The council is now obliged to carry out a public consultation and to ensure that the public and decision makers are aware of the underlying problem the Chamber President wrote to the Dewsbury Reporter with copy to Dewsbury councillors and the leaders of the groups representing other political parties as follows:

Dear Editor

Parking charges are an emotive issue and it is entirely predictable that the consultation on parking charges in areas where parking is currently free will produce not a single resident in favour of any increase in parking charges.  However, the more important issue is the anomaly of parking charges being applied in Dewsbury but not in the rest of North Kirklees.  (see: https://dewsburychamber.co.uk/06/parking-proposals-to-spark-growth-in-dewsbury/)

Opponents of the new charges complain that they will drive customers away.  Indeed the Dewsbury Chamber of Trade receives a constant stream of complaints from our members that this has been happening in Dewsbury for the last forty years or more because Dewsbury visitors pay parking charges whilst parking is free everywhere else.  This anomaly penalises Dewsbury businesses and was the central issue identified to the council in our paper of 2022.  

This unfair discrimination has to be the first thing that the council addresses in any review of parking charges.  Charges need to be either removed in Dewsbury or the same charges applied everywhere else in North Kirklees.  

We appreciate the concerns expressed by representatives of other towns and villages. But the council has to be fair to all businesses and residents by applying the same standards everywhere.  It also needs to bring in enough revenue to cover the maintenance costs of the car parks and infrastructure. 

Maintaining free parking perpetuates the current anomaly that penalises Dewsbury businesses and cannot continue. Getting rid of the anomaly and creating a level playing field is the first priority for the council if it is to lay the foundation for regeneration in the towns of North Kirklees.

Generating enough revenue to cover operating and maintenance costs is obviously an absolute requirement and, given the current state of Kirklees finances, it is clear that free parking is coming to an end.   The Chamber has no opinion on the level of charges, just that the council creates a level playing field for all businesses.

To quote an old adage: “You cannot achieve the right result by doing the wrong thing”.


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