Cost of car parking in Sunderland to rise as council says cash will help balance the budget

Councillor Michael Mordey.
Councillor Michael Mordey.
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Charges in council-run car parks are to increase as the authority looks to deal with government cuts.

The new costs come into use from Wednesday, June 1.

Sunniside car park, where parking costs are to rise.

Sunniside car park, where parking costs are to rise.

Sunderland City Council says it is only the second increase in the last six years and raising charges will help balance budgets and off-set costs.

In the last six years the council has cut more than £200million from its budget because of Government funding cuts and spending pressures.

It is faced with the need to make further cuts of potentially £115million by 2020. In this financial year, the council is reducing its spending by more than £46million.

From the beginning of June:

*parking in council car parks and for on-street parking increases by 10p;

*there will be a Sunday fixed rate of £2 at the St Mary's and Sunniside multi-storeys - a rise of 50p

The council says it has continued to invest in parking and has introduced more than 80 new city centre on-street parking bays in the last 12 months.

This is giving motorists more options in the city centre.

Councillor Michael Mordey, the council's portfolio holder for city services, said: "As the council has already said, because of the sustained budget cuts and spending pressures from central government, the council is having to make many more difficult decisions on its services.

"While this is only the second increase in six years, and parking continues to offer good value when compared to many other similar-sized cities and local areas, it is a decision that has not been taken lightly.

"The council has recognised that this small increase has now become necessary to help balance its budgets.

"Nonetheless, the council has continued to invest in parking with more options in the city centre and improvements at our multi-storey car parks."

At St Mary's multi-storey, customer access is being improved and lifts upgraded in the Green Street Arcade.

Improvements at Sunniside car park are also planned.

The council currently manages more than 3,600 parking spaces across the city: three multi-storey car parks, eight chargeable off-street car parks, more than a dozen locations where there are chargeable on-street bays, and 24 free off-street car parks.

The last increase was at the beginning of 2015 and prior to that 2010.