Campaigners say that an official York parking review is ‘inadequate and riddled with errors and omissions’.
But it will still be used as to guide senior councillors as they decide the city’s future car park strategy.
The review into city centre parking provision was produced by City of York Council officers to aid senior councillors as they decide whether to go-ahead with construction of the controversial St George’s Field multi-storey car park.
Labour ‘called in’ the review at a meeting on Monday night. But a vote asking the council to look at it again was lost, and so it will still be used.
The team behind an independent report into parking in the city say the official council document is “riddled with errors and omissions”.
Johnny Hayes, Kate Ravilious and Jamie Wood say it lacks crucial data on car park occupancy rates, fails to include information about private car parks, and uses misleading income figures based on gross rather than net income.
“This review is shameful; a school project would produce something better,” says science journalist Kate Ravilious.
Jamie Wood, a professor at the University of York and expert on mathematical modelling, said: “The council’s executive cannot make an informed decision about St George’s Field multi-storey car park if they don’t know how much capacity is available in current car parks.”
At Monday’s meeting several transport academics and campaigners lined up to criticise the car park review.
Tony May, emeritus professor of transport engineering at the University of Leeds, said: “The review as it stands is seriously deficient as a basis for deciding on the proposed multi-storey car park in St George’s Field.”
Greg Marsden, a professor of transport governance at the University of Leeds, also described the document as “deficient”.
Former councillor Johnny Hayes said: “The decision to build multi-storey car parks seems to be set in stone – or is it concrete?
“It makes no sense to make these critical strategic decisions before other important city-wide strategies are in place, such as the imminent Local Transport Plan, Local Plan and Carbon Reduction Plan.”
Councillor Andy D’Agorne, executive member for transport at City of York Council told YorkMix: “The review improves our understanding of, and identifies an approach for improvements to disabled parking.
“It creates a hierarchy of council car parks to inform our response to future changes in parking demand and transport policy. This review will help allow the council to define and invest strategically in its priority car parks (which include park and ride as well as city centre provision).
“The strategic review sets a baseline of information. For any significant investment decisions a detailed business case would need to be prepared by Council officers for Executive to consider in the decision making.
“Multi-storey car parks are generally proposed to consolidate existing car park capacity to enabling the release land for more beneficial uses.
“The St George’s Field multi storey car park was proposed as the land is floodplain ruling out alternative uses to enable the as part of the plan for removal of the existing Castle car park which has a negative impact on the setting of Clifford’s Tower and to allow the creation of a new public space.
“As such the decision of whether to proceed with the procurement of a contractor or not for the new St George’s Field multi-storey car park will be considered as part of a future delivery report on Castle Gateway in 2022.
“This will include consideration of the outcome of the parking review as well as additional information as part of the business case.”
Additional reporting: Joe Coates, local democracy reporter