Major Liverpool city centre parking shake-up planned for 2024

Driving into Liverpool city centre could change for good in the months to come.

More than 12 months on from its first announcement, free parking after 6pm in the heart of the city could be brought to a close in the new year. In November 2022, the then Liverpool Council cabinet 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.

When it was first mooted, it was thought the sweeping changes could have been in place by September this year.

Putting forward the plans, 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 held last year.

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 in November and December last year 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.

It is thought that until parking behaviour improves, extended hours of charging could generate enforcement revenues “broadly estimated at £240,000” at which point the council forecasts revenue will reduce proportionately. It had initially been hoped the plans could be implemented by September.

Physical works had been expected to get underway in August before a full rollout in September. Due to the pushback, the city’s parking services team forecasted a shortfall of £600,000 against its target of £1.6m.

Local authority officers are considering a number of possible options to mitigate it, including extending the opening hours and reviewing the charging structure at Mount Pleasant car park.

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