‘Save our shops’ - traders and shoppers want parking charge re-think

Aiming to halt parking charges at Russell Dean car park, Mytholmroyd, are Lesley Hiley, Coun Tony Hodgins, Janet Brookes, David Adams,  Roger Barr, Helen McGarry and Coun Christine Bampton-Smith

Aiming to halt parking charges at Russell Dean car park, Mytholmroyd, are Lesley Hiley, Coun Tony Hodgins, Janet Brookes, David Adams, Roger Barr, Helen McGarry and Coun Christine Bampton-Smith

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Furious residents, shoppers and traders have launched a campaign to fight plans to introduce charges in a central Mytholmroyd car park.

Calderdale Council wants to bring in hourly parking fees for shoppers as well as charge vehicle owners from homes opposite the Burnley Road site for using it.

But community organisation Royd Regeneration is spearheading a campaign calling for Calderdale Council to re-think its plans and is urging as many people as possible to object.

Volunteers have distributed hundreds of leaflets to estates and other residential areas in Mytholmroyd, with objectors needing to act before Monday’s deadline.

Hebden Royd town councillors Tony Hodgins and Christine Bampton-Smith supported the town council’s stance against the charges at a meeting last week.

Coun Hodgins said: “Royd Regeneration wants the best for the shops and it just seems like this is a backward step.”

David Adams, who runs David Paul gents’ hairdresser’s opposite the car park, said: “It would cause devastation.

“To pay 40p if you just want a single item - a sandwich or a newspaper - it’s a lot of money.

“I don’t agree with it at all.”

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker is backing the fight, which extends along the valley to Todmorden.

He said: “Some businesses still aren’t open and yet Calderdale want to impose these charges in areas where traditionally there haven’t been charges.

“Campaigners have my full support. The council really do have their heads in the sand.”

A recent High Court ruling involving Barnet Council said it was illegal to levy permit charges to raise money rather than manage parking and the MP questioned Calderdale’s motives, citing the council’s own study as being titled “Parking Income Generation Study.”

But the council says charging is being introduced to help make car parks self-financing and could boost business by deterring commuters who might take up a space all day from using them, opening them up for shoppers.

Over the issue of residents’ permits Calderdale Council’s Head of Planning and Highways, Geoff Willerton, said: “Calderdale Council has introduced residents’ parking permit charges to cover the cost of running the scheme – the revenue that is generated is only used for this purpose, i.e. the scheme is self-financing.

“The council often receives requests from residents across the borough for parking permit schemes, but there is a cost to administer, enforce and maintain them.”

Anyone who wants to lobby the council can email the following representatives:

email@simonyoung.info

councillor.jbeacroft-mitchell@calderdale.gov.uk

councillor.rmarshall@calderdale.gov.uk

Letters need to arrive by Monday, August 12, addressed to Planning and Highways, Calderdale Council, Northgate House, Halifax HX1 1UN