Parking in Darlington costs more than New York, but how much do you pay to park?
There was hell and fury and outrage in Bitterwallet's inbox yesterday, with this email from reader Steve Owen:
I had to go to Darlington on Saturday - somebody has to, I suppose. I was there early for an all-day event, so I parked at the Town Hall in the town centre. My jaw fell off when I saw the price to park there all day - £9! And don't tell me it's to encourage people to use public transport more - if that was the case, you wouldn't open the car park at all!
£9 for a day's parking on a weekend means Darlington is more expensive than garages in the decadent Upper East Side of Manhattan. Local councils charging nonsensical rates for parking is nothing new: we know that the car parks at Gateshead Quays force drivers to pay up until 11pm at night, seven days a week. It hardly encourages widespread use of public transport (buses and Metro services from Gateshead town centre finish around the same time, which means it isn't a viable option) but to rake in the cash on those evenings there are events in the area.
Can your council offer worse examples? How much does it cost to park in your city centre? If public transport isn't up to scratch, do tourists bypass your town and head to the next place that can be parked in without having to pimp out the wife?