Parking fees not driving people away, says Lincoln council leader

Leader of the City of Lincoln Council Ric Metcalfe said there is “absolutely no evidence” shoppers are being driven away from the city centre due to high car parking charges.

It follows The Lincolnite‘s report earlier this week that the authority is currently estimating its parking income will be £1.1 million less than what it predicted it would make this year.

The council argued the amount it is taking from car parking is up, just not as much as it had hoped.

Following publication, hundreds of people took to social media to make their feelings clear that prices were their main reason for not parking in the city.

However, council leader Ric Metcalfe says this is not the case.

He told Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines: “I don’t think anyone’s being driven away because of price, there’s absolutely no evidence of that at all.”

He said the council carried out regular surveys on its facilities which found people had been satisfied.

“We’re offering a very, very good service for what we’re charging. We don’t believe that car parking is too expensive in Lincoln.”

“It isn’t expensive if you compare us with cities the size and importance of Lincoln. You can’t compare us with Gainsborough, Sleaford or Newark.

“Lincoln is in a very different place as a larger city where the competition for spaces is intense and where we have the presence of a lot of other car park providers.

“When you look at our charges compared with comparable cities we come out very well, we’re very modest.”

He said the council was considering its parking strategy, planning forward 15-20 years in advance.

“We’re very optimistic about the growth prospects for the city and of course on the back of that will be the need for more car parking,” he said.

However, he added that parking was under “constant review”.

“We are aware charges are price sensitive, particularly at a time when household incomes are under pressure, what people are paying for car parking is going to be in people’s minds when they go out with a fixed amount of money for shopping.”

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