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The charge of the ticketing brigade

As Liverpool Confidential’s parking campaign gathers speed, Larry Neild reveals the spread of the peril of yellow lines to the suburbs, and has as idea for Warren...

Published on February 17th 2009.


The charge of the ticketing brigade

WHEN Liverpool first introduced Sunday parking charges, councillors were told other places would follow Liverpool’s lead.

That amazing prediction, by council highways official Andy Maple, was made in 2003, yet almost six years later most big cities - including Liverpool’s biggest rival, Manchester – continue to allow free Sunday parking.

Mr Maple told a council transport working party he believed that because of the need across all local authorities to maximise income (make money), most would follow Liverpool and start to charge on Sundays.

The issue had been raised in 2003 by veteran politician Cllr Eddie Clein who had pointed out that other towns and cities allowed free or cut price Sunday parking. His view was Liverpool should not discourage anybody from coming into the city on Sundays or in the evenings.

Perhaps he was prompted by Cllr Peter Millea who commented in an announcement for free pre-Christmas shopping in the same year: “We want as many visitors to come to the city as possible. Free parking will encourage more shoppers to the city centre stores. There are plenty of parking spaces available and the message is come to Liverpool to do your shopping and you can park safely and for free.”

Fast track to February 2009 and Cllr Clein has questioned the decision of his own party, the Lib Dems, to introduce charges for evening parking in the city centre. The architect of the plan? One Peter Millea.

The much-hated move will boost the council coffers by a paltry £115,000 a year by making motorists pay up to £4 to park between 6pm and 8pm.

But to make matters worse for city shops already struggling to stay open in the shadows of Tescos and Asdas, the enforcers are to spread their wings to district shopping centres such as Allerton Road, County Road and Old Swan.

For the city council, as part of its budget plans, will introduce tougher enforcement of “yellow line compliance” in the suburbs, and expects to rake in £500,000.

Yet, when Liverpool took over control of parking enforcement from Merseyside Police in 2002 the justification was the

need to keep the streets free of illegally parked vehicles.

Not so long ago I sheltered from a torrential downpour in the doorway to a Liverpool office building, already it was occupied by two council parking wardens. I chatted to them about their job and asked if they had to meet daily targets. They insisted no targets were imposed, and I believed this to be the case. They spoke, though, of one of their colleagues who according to them had his own target, to issue 50 tickets in a day. That I said to them is dedication, and they agreed.

Even in 2003, business leaders were expressing concerns about the impact of parking enforcement on local firms.

Decriminalisation of car parking, as the exercise was known, unleashed on Liverpool and other places, a monster, incapable of being tamed.

Not only do reports estimate the amount of income from parking meters, but also the likely earnings from people given parking tickets. It is literally a licence to print money.

Few people would argue with the need to control parking during daytime weekdays when the city is a business and commercial hub. Evenings and weekends should be treated differently.

So here’s a challenge to the council. Abandon any idea of making people pay at night and as an experiment for, say six months, allow on-street parking for £1 on Sundays, the flat fee applicable for any length of time.

It would give the shopping and leisure sectors a great boost during the credit crunch and would also prove to the rest of us something we all suspect – that parking charges are more about raising money than controlling traffic.

Go on Warren, prove me wrong.

*You can join the hundreds of other Liverpool Confidential readers who have already written their own thoughts on the parking plan by clicking here and filling in the form at the end. click here)

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20 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

MotoristFebruary 17th 2009.

Peter Millea Lib Dem Councillor for Cressington is a non-driving Bus using anti motorist who is on the Public Transport Committee, so it is in his interest to do this. Why O why aren't the motorist councillors objecting, o they get free parking silly me. When is the meeting to decide this increase? Let's disrupt it so they cannot pass it.Don't pay any fines after 6 pm and lets bring the system to a halt.

Stan LaurelFebruary 17th 2009.

This is all to pay for the massive golden handshakes of people who they appointed in capital of culture year who they then had to get shut of. Well that'll work won't it Warren....

BondFebruary 17th 2009.

With a group of friends, we often drive to Liverpool from N.Wales for concerts, theatre, food etc. If we have to pay for evening parking,as well as for the tunnel,then we'll go back to Manchester as we used to.

BondFebruary 17th 2009.

Wirral Weekend Willie is spot on. As well as Liverpool, I often need to go to "Brokenhead".Broken it is indeed. Street after street after street in the old docks area completely devoid of parked cars. Why? Because they are all "Pay & Display".No-one is prepared to go there. I HAVE to go there but am lucky enough to be able to park in a private yard. My usual pub and the cafe have both had to close. What a sad picture!

AnonymousFebruary 17th 2009.

They manage a £1.00 charge for the whole day in Manchester and Newcastle at weekends, surely Liverpool council isnt that strapped for cash that they need to charge us more at night? Especially when they have just given a grant of over £8million to arts venues in the city?!! Come on Warren do something right for once!

MurphFebruary 17th 2009.

Never mind the parlking attendants wages, how much will it cost to get all the parking signs changed - about another £110,000 I would guess!

<a href="http://www.liverpoolconfidential.com/index.asp?Sessionx=IpqiNwEiNwEjIWJ6IHqjNwB6IA&realname=Parking_Liverpool_needs_you">here</a>February 17th 2009.

) and as soon as you hit the send button we'll send it straight to every member of the City Council's ruling Executive Board. Several hundred readers have done so already and you/we/they have the support of the Liverpool Chamber.

Hotel Marriot EdgarFebruary 17th 2009.

or maybe here..these links never work first time. oldpoetry.com/…/14042-Marriott-Edgar-The-Runcorn-Ferry…

OneCarFamilyFebruary 17th 2009.

The whole purpose of the council taking over parking enforcement was to ensure the streets are kept clear of illegally parked vehicles. Now, though, we know the truth. It is just a stealth tax, a hidden extra council tax. There used to be a few streets in the city centre without yellow lines, little havens where people could park for free. So what did our caring council do? Sent round men with tins of yellow paint. It would be fascinating to know the answers to these questions: what length of yellow lines have been added since 2001, how many yellow lines have been removed. The reality is the council insists on screwing residents and visitors for every penny, or rather pound, it can get out of them.

DigFebruary 17th 2009.

According to todays Post there has been a revolt from the ruling Lib Dem admin against enforcing the 6-8 parking charges. I think my comments about paying wardens after 6 did the trick. No need to thank me, it's what I'm here for. A man of the people, for the people.

Wirral Weekend WillieFebruary 17th 2009.

Bond

cally the pingu fanFebruary 17th 2009.

More scouse rackets and scams only this time not from the 99% of the benefit scrounging populace but the crooks in office.These people deserve each other.Come to Manchester for a good night out and safety from the drug addled theives, pickpockets and prostitutes crowding around Liverpool.

AnonymousFebruary 17th 2009.

Enforcing 'yellow line compliance' is actually enforcing the law and making roads that we pay for clearer and safer. Anyone who's driven down County Road will have seen dozens of cars stopped on double yellow lines as their takeaways are of extreme importance. Charging for parking in dedicated bays in the evenings is not good for the city centre, but enforcing yellow lines will make the roads safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

RevoltingPeasantFebruary 17th 2009.

I think we should be more courteous to Warren Bradley. If the Tories have their way he would well become our first elected Mayor of Liverpool. So lets all have a bit of decorum here.

anti carla!February 17th 2009.

hilton imp opitamises. treble the rates until 5am. machine gun anyone b4 and lets walk with safety and fresh air.

potsyFebruary 17th 2009.

Answer is easy becoz its not a problem. Just boycott any fines that may be genrated by little hitler wardens. dont pay what can they do if no one pays. cant lock us all up.

Hilton ImpFebruary 17th 2009.

Well the next meeting of the Executive board at the Town Hall, let's everyone drive to into castle street water street dales street and onto exchange flags, park up and beep our horns for a couple of hours with an impromptu street party.

DigFebruary 17th 2009.

If the council pay 20 wardens £9 an hour for an extra 2 hours to patrol all the city streets to enforce the new 8pm parking rules it will cost them £112680 a year of the £11500 they're going to earn. Maybe with the £2320 they'll have left they can buy Andy Maple a nice watch for his redundancy.

Vaseline PetroleumFebruary 17th 2009.

Theatres will see a detrimental effect, certainly. You can park free outside the Bridgewater Hall and you can't outside the Phil.

MurphFebruary 17th 2009.

Never mind the parlking attendants wages, how much will it cost to get all the parking signs changed - about another £110,000 I would guess!

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