Job losses at food businesses prompts U-turn on car park charges

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CHARGES at 10 car parks across Calderdale are to be lifted along with evening charges in Halifax following complaints by businesses and residents.

The new Conservative-led cabinet committee voted to remove the charges, saying they were damaging to businesses. The cabinet was meeting for the first time since the Labour administration lost power last month.

It is expected that the charges will be removed next month if the decision is not challenged by other councillors.

The 10 car parks where charges will be dropped are King Cross, Haugh Shaw Road West; King Cross, Queens Road; Mill Lane, Brighouse; Bank Street, Brighouse; Church Lane, Brighouse; Rochdale Road, West Vale; Royd Lane, Ripponden; Oxford Road, Todmorden; Dalton Street, Todmorden; and Dale Street, Todmorden.

Charges to park in Halifax town centre between 6pm and 8pm, brought in earlier this year, have also been dropped.

Deputy council leader Scott Benton said: “Since they were introduced, a number of takeaways and restaurants in Halifax town centre have had to lay off staff as a direct consequence of this policy.”

In other towns, parking has been displaced onto residential streets, he added.

Meanwhile, in Northallerton, charges in the short-stay Applegarth car park are to be reduced in a bid to help improve the economy of the town.

Under plans before members of Hambleton District Council’s cabinet next month charges in the 148 short stay spaces at the front of the Applegarth car park will be chopped.

The first hour – which currently costs 60p – will be free. The second hour will be 60p.

Deputy council leader Peter Wilkinson said: “We have been listening to the concerns of both businesses, local people and visitors to Northallerton about the cost of car parking in the town.

“We have decided to act to help redress this situation and hope that this – coupled with free parking Thursdays throughout December in Hambleton Council car parks in the run up to Christmas – will help boost the economy of the town.”

If approved, the changes will be brought in October.