York car park review deemed ‘inadequate’ and lacking in evidence
A review into the future of council car parks in York has been described as “inadequate” by the opposition Labour group.
Labour leader Pete Kilbane and councillors Rachel Melly and Janet Looker have ‘called in’ a decision by the council’s executive to approve a report into car parking earlier this month.
It means that the Liberal Democrat / Green administration could be asked to look again at the issue.
The approved report was designed to gather evidence on the role of car parking in the city and guide investment decisions, though these decisions were not taken at the executive meeting.
But council documents show Labour claiming that: “The review failed to provide accurate data on parking use across council managed car parks over a reasonable period of time post lockdown.”
Controversial plans for a new multi-storey car park at St George’s Field were given the go-ahead by the council in January, but top councillors later decided to pause the procurement process until the impact of Covid on car parking demand had been understood.
Council papers state: “The purpose of the multi-storey car park is to consolidate two large surface car parks in to a smaller more land efficient car park, reducing the overall number of spaces, moving car journeys outside the inner-ring road and allowing Castle Car Park and the remainder of St George’s Field to be replaced with new public parks and event spaces.”
Decision in spring
A decision on the new car park will be made in February as part of the plans for the wider Castle Gateway project.
The latest review sought to create a hierarchy of council car parks to indicate which sites are a priority for investment, with the St George’s Field car park coming top of the list.
Labour also claimed the data in the review report was “inadequate” and that there is no “supporting evidence” to show that private car park operators could fill a gap in the market if the council does not go ahead with their plan.
The customer and corporate services scrutiny panel will decide whether to ask the council’s executive to look again at the issue on Monday.
The authority has 19 car parks across the city which generate around £7 million for council funds.