Traders are continuing to protest against parking charges introduced into free car parks as spaces are left completely empty around the town centre.
From these pictures, there were only a handful of cars in Church Lane, one of three car parks that had charges introduced on Monday, compared to Friday afternoon.
Calderdale Council installed pay and display machines in ten sites, including Bank Street and Mill Lane in Brighouse.
However, traders and councillor are still opposed to the charges and their fears were realised as residential streets around the town centre saw an increase in parked cars.
Councillor Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse), a long term objector to the charges, said it will take some time before the council get their money back for installing all the parking machines in Calderdale which totalled £194,000.
“I visited many of the residential streets on the periphery of the town centre and there seemed to be a pronounced increase in the amount of cars parked.
“A number of residents I spoke to also confirmed that this seemed to be the case; streets around the Railway Station and St Martin’s Church on Church Lane seemed to be particularly badly affected.
“I will be monitoring the situation over the next few weeks but the initial indications seem to confirm our fears that this policy would have significant knock-on effects on the residential streets around the town centre.”
Lesley Adams from the Brighouse Business Initiative said she always thought that the charges would have a negative impact on residents’ streets as traders cannot afford to pay £2.40 a day all week.
David Tankard from the Flower Garden added that the Council is losing money as two car parking spaces in Bank Street are designated for disabled people and questioned why they would park so far away from the town centre.
Conservative councillor candidate for Brighouse Howard Blagbrough added: “Parking at the railway station is already bad and it is only going to get worse as people who are not using the trains are parking there.
“Over the last few years the BBI have been working hard to encourage people to come to the town centre and we don’t want to see these charges have a negative impact.”
When Calderdale Council announced plans to introduce the fees they said it was because customers had told them that the car parks were regularly used by long stay users which means it’s harder for people to nip to their local shop or town centre.
At these car parks, you can now stay for 30 minutes for 20p, half the current hourly rate or stay all day for just £2.40.
Coun Barry Collins, spokesman for economy and environment said: “We are introducing the charges to help make our car parks self-financing. The money raised through parking charges will be used to pay for the administration of our car parks and to ensure that they continue to be safe and kept in good repair.
“The car parks are well used and require ongoing maintenance and cleaning. The introduction of charges will make the car parks become more self-financing.”
Coun Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) said due to more cuts and savings being made, revenue has to be raised to maintain the roads including those damaged by the floods in the Upper Valley, which may take years to get back into a decent state.
“I know the roads aren’t in Brighouse put we are all part of Calderdale.
“We have to maintain and repair the roads that people expect and we to find the money from somewhere.
“It is a no win situation but we have to make these small sacrifices for a big gain.”
Are the parking charges a good idea? Have you been affected by more cars parking on your street making it difficult for other motorists and buses to pass?
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