Liverpool Council gives update on end to free parking in city centre

Liverpool Council has given an update on its plans to end free parking in the city centre after 6pm.

Back in November 2022, the city council announced it would seek to extend and increase parking charges to modernise the provision and improve congestion and air quality. After a series of consultations with businesses and commuters, the move is expected to be implemented in the months ahead.

It had been expected the changes would come into force last September, but now a senior official has outlined progress on adoption of the scheme.

Putting forward the plans almost two years ago, the city council’s cabinet said the changes will “standardise” parking across the city centre. The move is going ahead despite almost 90% of respondents being against any changes to the existing system in a public engagement exercise.

Formal adoption of the plans will confirm the city’s controlled parking zone (CPZ) would allow charges to be enforced from 7am to 11pm and increase by 10p per half hour, in a move the council said would raise £1.6m. Currently, 30 minutes parking costs £1.20, this would go up to £1.30. Up to an hour would increase to £2.50 from £2.40. 

Around 1,500 people responded to the initial non-statutory exercise and as a result, plans for a two-hour maximum stay were shelved.

Liverpool Council said the mooted increase in the parking charges by 10p per half hour would help to cover the cost of the changes required and contribute to the ongoing operation and enforcement of the CPZ. The proposed new charge will still be significantly lower than other core cities across the UK.

Discussing the proposed changes at an extraordinary meeting of the city’s finance and resources scrutiny committee to consider plans for the annual budget, Nicki Butterworth, corporate director neighbourhoods and housing, said responses from the formal consultation on the plans were still being worked through, with no sign of a formal adoption date in sight. Budget documents indicated up to £4m could be made from parking income across the city for 2024/25, including the increase in tariffs in the city centre.

Initially, physical works to implement the changes had been expected to take place in August last year. In the council’s fees and charges policy adopted earlier this month, there was no indication the price of parking would change, with a percentage increase not listed among the authority’s income.

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