Free Parking In Newcastle Scrapped To Discourage Car Use

Free evening parking in Newcastle city centre is to be scrapped, with the council hoping the move will discourage car use…

Free Parking in Newcastle Scrapped

Drivers in Newcastle city centre will soon face charges for parking in the evening. The local council is hoping that, by removing the perk, car usage will gradually decline; with more people using public transport instead. Back in 2010, the Alive After Five scheme saw parking become free after 17:00. The scheme sought to improve evening trade for local businesses. But times have changed. And the priority of the local authority is now reducing air pollution and the city’s carbon footprint.

A consultation still needs to be held on the decision, but it’s thought that the change will come into effect early next year. If it does, parking will cease to be free in the evening at Eldon Garden, Dean Street, Oxford Street and Eldon Square. Parking charges will apply until 22:00. This will also apply to all street parking bays in Newcastle city centre.

Taking Action

Ged Bell, the council’s cabinet member for development, neighbourhoods and transport, commented on the decision. He said, “the proposals we have set out reflect the need to manage and respond to changing demand for car parking in the city centre. We must also take into account the need to reduce air pollution and our carbon footprint – both of which are greatly affected by the volume of traffic on our roads”.

A large number of local councils and authorities throughout the country are looking to improve air quality and reduce local emissions. This, typically, means looking to private car use. Some are introducing clean air zones or are introducing schemes to encourage the use of public transport and car-sharing. Scrapping free parking is, at the moment, a relatively novel approach; and is likely to attract the ire of some motorists and local businesses alike.

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