Kirklees parking: Consultation on controversial parking fees in Batley, Cleckheaton and rest of district finally gets underway

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After weeks of uncertainty, Kirklees Council has confirmed that residents can now have their say on plans to scrap free parking in towns and villages.

A review of parking tariffs across all Kirklees’ council-operated off-street car parks and on-street parking bays got the green light from cabinet in November last year as part of the council’s efforts to address a £47m deficit.

Increased fees have already been brought in at Huddersfield, Holmfirth and Dewsbury, with the cost of all-day parking rising from £4 to £6.50 in Huddersfield town centre.

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The next part of the plan would see charges brought in at all free council-run car parks across the borough’s towns and villages like Lindley, Honley, Meltham, Slaithwaite, Batley and Cleckheaton.

The parking fees consultation is underwayThe parking fees consultation is underway
The parking fees consultation is underway

But before this can go ahead, a period of public consultation must be carried out.

The plans have proved highly unpopular with Kirklees’ communities, with a 5,784 signature-strong petition against the fees being rolled out in Honley and Meltham presented by Cllr Charles Greaves (Independent, Holme Valley North), at a cabinet meeting.

The councillor pressed cabinet for an answer on when the consultation would begin, particularly as it was expected by the end of February.

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However, no answer could be given as the relevant cabinet member – Coun Aafaq Butt – was absent. The council has since confirmed that the process will begin imminently.

David Shepherd, strategic director for Growth and Regeneration at Kirklees Council, said: “On Thursday, we will be launching a statutory consultation in the form of a Traffic Regulatory Order (TRO) with a 21-day feedback period for each of the 57 car parks across Kirklees that are currently free.

“At the start of the consultation, legal notices will be placed in the local press and affected car parks, and local councillors will also be notified as part of the process.

"We will then listen to all feedback and make a decision that is right for each area at a local level before submitting a report to Cabinet Committee Local Issues before proceeding with any changes.

“Free, timed on-street spaces across the borough will not be affected by the proposals, so there will still be free parking available for those wishing to visit our towns and villages.”