Dear Newcastle upon Tyne City Council,
I am reading http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-... where it's stated that Newcastle council tax subsidises city centre car parking at £100k a year (used to be £150k in previous years).
Could you please supply the policy/policies, rationale, studies or any other evidence that supports that decision?
RFI – 5719
Thank you for your request for information. We are dealing with it under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We have passed your request to relevant colleagues. We will respond to your request within 20 working days starting the working day after receipt of your request.
Freedom of Information Team
Dear Miss leyendecker,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request regarding the above.
I can confirm that there are no formal policies or studies that supported the decision to introduce the "Alive After 5" initiative.
The initial request for the introduction of free parking after 5pm came from NE1 Business Improvement District who believed that some incentive parking during the evening would support proposals to introduce late night shopping in Newcastle. The broader rationale and aim of the proposal was to help provide a bridge between the daytime and evening economy in Newcastle as a similar scheme in Manchester had also proven successful.
The Council considered this request very carefully and following a series discussions it was agreed to introduce free parking from 5pm in our multi-storey car parks as we believed that this would:
1. Support the "Alive After 5" initiative and help bridge the gap between the popular daytime and evening economy.
2. Support extended shopping hours in the city centre.
3. Help create employment opportunities during a challenging economic climate.
As part of the discussions it was estimated that the reduced income would be in the region of £300,000 per annum and NE1 agreed to contribute £150,000 towards the "Alive After 5" project. As part of the Budget 2016 process NE1 have agreed to increase their contribution to £200,000 to help reduce the impact on the Council and maintain the free parking in our multi-storey car parks from 5pm.
Through discussions with NE1 we have been informed that this has been well received by businesses and shoppers with significant increase in footfall across the city centre and Eldon Square. In addition, businesses are reporting that there has been an increase in trade which will help sustain employment and ensure Newcastle remains an attractive place to visit and shop.
We see Alive after Five as an economic investment - it sustains and creates jobs, keeps our shops busy outside their core hours and attracts people into our city centre. Due to the success of the initiative it is proposed to retain the current arrangements in the short term.
For the avoidance of doubt the car parking account is not subsidised by Council Tax payments.
I trust this answers the points you have raised.
Head of Parking Services
Tel: 0191 2116161
Fax: 0191 2772723
Regulatory Services & Public Protection Division Environment & Regeneration Directorate
Email: [email address]
Please consider the environment before printing this email.