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Parking: Liverpool needs you

You are the voice of Liverpool. So be heard. Let our city rulers know what you think about the plan to extend city centre parking charges to 8pm by emailing our councillors right here, right now

Published on February 13th 2009.

Parking: Liverpool needs you

THE city of Liverpool needs every trick up its sleeve to encourage our spenders to head into town.

Almost three weeks ago, Liverpool Confidential exclusively highlighted the scandalous plan by the city council to make every punter pay for evening parking by extending charges on the city centre streets from 6pm to 8pm.

Nowhere else in the north of England do you have to pay for parking after 6.30 in the evening.

The idea, which has now been passed as a resolution, has gone down like a fire engine full of strippers at a traffic warden's funeral.

Everyone, except the ruling Lib Dems who made the decision, thinks the idea stinks. Liverpool Confidential readers vented their spleen after Larry Neild first revealed the implications of the proposals (click here to read), sparking widespread anger and debate.

Now theatres, stores, cultural promoters and restaurants, who all rely on a successful footfall in town, have joined in to get what the city's Chamber of Commerce have called the “crackpot” plan overturned.

And that's where you come in.

Fill in the form below and hit the send button. We will forward every one of your emails to every member of the council who supports this idea, to let them know what the citizens really think.

And if they don't open them or acknowledge them, and you know what councillors are like, we'll print the lot off and take them down to Dale Steet for their perusal.

Get this: the scheme that has caused so much anger will boost the billion-pound-a-year turnover of Liverpool City Council by a piddling £315 a day. That wouldn’t even buy a designer T-shirt at Harvey Nichols in Manchester (although at least there, you would be able to park outside in the evening and all day Sunday, free).

It will boost the coffers by just £115,000 over the year. Forget the T-shirt, the year’s income wouldn’t even pay the salary of a senior officer.

But don't forget the stealth tax and the wardens flooding the streets.

You plan to go to the cinema or the theatre, or maybe the Phil, park up at 7.20pm. You are late and, to be sure of not being booked (and you will be - this

is all about collecting those more lucrative £60 fixed penalties) - you have to pay £1.40. It doesn’t sound a lot, but that extra fiddling around for spare change is a deterrent.

But if they extend it till 8pm what about next year – they may say we’ll make it 10pm or midnight, or what about all night?

The Labour leader on the city council Joe Anderson has promised to scrap the evening charge if and whenever Labour get a chance to take control. They want to go even further, saying they will look at making weekend parking free or discounted.

That's more like it but this isn't about politics or a maybe in May 2010. It's about now.

So act now.

Everyone agrees this is a scheme guaranteed to finally discourage cars from coming to the city centre, and, with inadequately located public transport options, the punters will not come either.

Will the councillors back down? Time will tell, but your voice, the Voice of Liverpool could, and should, count for something.

Fill in the form now. Change the words, if you like, with your own message, and then hit the send button.

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