A campaigner from Salford has said he will ask the council how much money was lost after subsiding car parking in the run up to Christmas.
Harry Hamish Gray, who campaigns for active travel said: “the council have declared a climate emergency, so it’s a bit curious as to why they’d try to, prioritise cars which pollute over other forms of transport.”
Shoppers in the city can use eight pay and display car parks in Eccles, Monton, Pendleton and Swinton for free on Saturday 18th December.
The offer has also been available at the same car parks for the past two Saturdays.
The city mayor Paul Dennett hoped the scheme would encourage people to do their Christmas shopping locally.
Dennett said: “It has been such a difficult year for small traders. I hope this encourages people to shop locally but safely to support Salford businesses.”
But for Harry Gray the initiative seems at odds with the council’s climate frameworks. He said: “It’s quite a big signal, isn’t it? Compared to the amount of green policy that they write, which seems to be all in aiming in the right direction it’s almost like the actual actionable stuff that they’re doing is, is maybe slightly not on brand”
The subsidised car parks aren’t just at odds with the city council’s climate plans either.
Harry said: “All the data shows that people who drive or have cars are richer than people who get the bus and train or maybe cycle or walk.
“So, it’s actually helping people who are more well off. And it’s the people who are less well-off who can’t drive, who are not getting some subsidy to shop.”
After the scheme ends Harry plans to submit a Freedom of Information request to see how. much revenue the council lost as a result of temporarily allowing free parking.
After the 19th December, when drivers have had 3 days of subsidised parking at the expensive of your council tax, we will be submitting an FOI to ask how much revenue was lost.
What other questions would you ask? https://t.co/LFCfEGejSe
— Walk Ride Central Salford (@WRSalford) December 14, 2021
But he’s keen to point out the pressure applied to Salford City Council by himself and other campaign groups is only as a result of their open-minded attitude towards climate policy.
“If the council weren’t, trying to be a progressive council there wouldn’t be as many people causing an uproar.”
The free parking in certain Salford car parks is available for shoppers to take advantage of for one last weekend before Christmas when Harry then plans to submit his request to the council.