Fears Sunday parking charges could be ‘final nail in coffin’ for Wakefield

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A proposal to introduce parking charges on Sundays would be the “final nail in the coffin” for Wakefield, readers have warned.

Wakefield Council this week revealed plans to charge for overnight, Sunday and Bank Holiday parking at its pay and display car parks across the district as well as for on-street parking.

Charges could also be introduced at Anglers County Park at the same rate as Pugneys.

And free parking at Thornes Park, Minsthorpe Leisure Centre, Normanton Leisure Centre and Library and Pontefract Pool could also be limited to three hours.

The proposal, which the council is consulting on for the next five weeks, has prompted major backlash from our readers, who fear it will drive people away from the city centre.

Charles Lawton said: “Don’t they understand that Wakefield is already struggling to attract people and all this will do is send more to shopping centres where parking is free?”

And Pete Knowles, Steve McPhie, Cathie Swain, Peter Morris and Catherine Taylor all said the move would be a “nail in the coffin” for the city.

Others raised concerns that people would instead shop at out-of-town shopping centres and retail parks where parking is free.

Nicola Wensley said: “People will just go to White Rose or Meadowhall it will drive people away not attract then to the city.”

And Darren Thompson said: “Is it any wonder the small towns are dying out? People will just go to shopping centres, all under one roof, usually more choice, with restaurants, cinemas and FREE parking.”

The council is asking people to share their views on the proposal, in a consultation open until November 7.

If approved, the changes would come into force in the new year.

Coun Matthew Morley, cabinet member for transport and highways, said: “These proposals aim to make more parking spaces available for genuine users of our leisure and parks sites across the district, and allow us to take enforcement action to tackle any issues.”

He said any income generated would be used to fund improvements to the car parks, a suggestion supported by some readers.

Sean Cook said: “If it’s 50p on those days like it is at Trinity Walk then I don’t see what everyone’s problem is. As long as it gets reinvested properly then I’m all for it.”

And Guy Leech added: “If it is a way to help boost their funds after the government cuts then so be it.”

l Visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/parkingconsultation to have your say.