Sunday street parking charges about to start
MOTORISTS in Bristol are set to be hit by the introduction of Sunday on-street parking charges.
The new charges, which also cover bank holidays, will be rolled out in the city centre in October at first, with the rest of the city following early next year.
The new charges will be applied in the areas where you already have to pay for on-street parking Monday to Saturday. Bristol City Council said the charges should ease the problem with parking in the centre by ensuring shoppers or workers did not occupy one space for the entire day.
Critics say the charges will deter people from the centre of town, discouraging spending in a time of recession.
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Nigel Humphries, a spokesperson for the Association of British Drivers, said: "It sounds like somebody in the council has got shares in Cribbs Causeway because these new charges are just going to drive people out of the city."
He added: "What planet are they on? Bristol city centre is also a place where tourists come and visit at the weekends. Discouraging people from coming into the centre is asking for trouble and the high streets are in enough trouble as it is. This is only going to hurt the economy."
Bristol City Council responded by saying that by increasing "turnover" of car parking spaces, it would allow more people to visit the centre in one given day.
Kate Hartas, a council spokeswoman, said: "All our experience shows that when you charge modest amounts it can free up the spaces for more people rather than allow one space to be occupied by one person for a long period of time.
"By increasing the turnover of car parking spaces in the centre more people can park overall throughout the day, encouraging more shoppers."
The new charges will apply to "inner and central areas" from October 28. The scheme will be extended into phase two, which will affect "outer zones", in February 2013. The first phase covers all areas from Queen Square to St James Barton roundabout and from Bond Street to Colston Street.
Phase two stretches from the floating harbour to Stokes Croft and from Temple Way to Brandon Hill.
The inner areas will have a maximum of stay of one hour, costing £1 or you can pay 50p for a shorter stay.
In the outer areas there will be a minimum charge of 50p with subsequent increments of 50p up to a maximum charge of £2 for two or four hours.
The Sunday and bank holiday Charges will apply to daytime operating hours which run until 5pm or 6pm depending on location. After this time, standard evening and overnight charges will apply at all locations.
The council added: "The proposed tariffs have been set at a level which will provide consistency and will encourage turnover of short stay spaces to maximise parking opportunities for shoppers."