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?


  • Dank
    Should try living in car-friendly Oxford city centre then. Where highest prices start at a wallet busting £2.30 per hour. The multi-story car park in Westgate isn't much cheaper either at £1.80 per hour, so the only viable option is to jump on their stinky, regularly late park-and-ride buses. Or just stay away from the place and chew wasps instead. Much more fun and far less painful.
  • Mike H.
    Steve, what you need to do is drive into the wall, thus rendering yourself disabled as it looks like they get to park for free for 3hrs, I'm not entirely sure why the disabled get to park for free, but it looks like the Town Hall visitors have to pay for this privilage, although, you probably wouldn't find any disabled spaces as they'd all be taken by wankers driving BMW's/Audis
  • Jamie
    Actually, from an economic standpoint, the charge increases the cost of using private transport within the city. This in turn makes the option of public transport more attractive. The suggestion that the car park should be closed is an unreasonable one.
  • andy
    disabled permits are a disgrace, around worthing (west sussex) same situation BMWs/AUDIs driven by 25 year olds park shamelessly on double yellows like they own the place!!! i think the best ripoff for parking is at luton airport £7 per hour, don't know more than 1 hour coz i didn't dare stay longer, would bitter wallet care to do an article on the parking at luton...rippoff of the year? what's the point of flying low cost when the cost of baggage and parking adds up?
  • 4nd
    You guys have it so lucky Victoria Square, Belfast's latest shopping mall costs much more! -
  • 4nd
    And if you click on the Montgomery Street one, the prices are even worse, and its basically a bit of wasteground with a booth on it.
  • Geoff
    East Midlands Parkway railway station is a classic example of rip off parking. Set up in the middle of nowhere supposedly to relieve congestion into Nottingham by encouraging people to use train services. And charging £9 parking peak, £5 off-peak, on top of the train fare. Scarcely an incentive to use public transport, is it?
  • peter
    Here in central london its around 7 to 9 per hour plus congestion charge!
  • Mike H.
    Surely allowing the disabled to park for free is negative discrimination? "We feel so bad that you've only got half a leg, that we've made parking free, it's OK, we'll make the 'normal' people pay hiked prices to cover it, awwww, do you need some help?" Fucking tossers
  • andy
    jezus we should quickly buy some land and turn it into a car park!!!
  • Ben
    Its your fault as you picked the wrong car park to park in. There are 4 long stay car parks where I think the current parking price is £4 or so for the day. Now if you want to complain look at the price of parking at a Railway station (Darlington is a prime example). I can save myself £6 by walking 100 yards from the car park behind the fire station.
  • Carparkbod
    Or you could have parked in a long stay car park for £4/day.
  • acecatcher3
    what i do now is drive around with two car clamps, i park somewhere i shouldnt and apply the clamps myself, come bk a few hours later and remove the clamps and im on my pretty sure my town centre carpark costs more than the one steve owen was at.
  • Alex
    Firstly using the disabled excuse is a disgrace as my mum is disabled and constantly has trouble finding somewhere to park. Most councils now dont even offer free disabled parking anyway as they've got greedy and thought stuff it we'll cash in on those who have difficulty accessing public transport. Thats the reason why they get more leway on parking because a lot of people dont have a choice, its the twats in the mercs, bmws etc that use grandmas permit for easy parking who should be lined up against the wall and shot
  • JJMcClure
    Went to Heathrow airport last week. Their short stay car park charges £2.40 per 30 minutes!!!
  • Amanda H.
    Yeah parking in disabled spaces is a nono. But wait, when all the disabled spaces at Supermarkets are full, the little bleeders park in the mother & baby spaces!? It's ok though, cause my eldest normally carries his mate "stanley" wherever he goes.
  • emma
    NCP Mitchell Street Car Park in Glasgow is £16 a day. With the added pleasure of having your car being broken into - 20 cars broken into this month -
  • a m.
    Came here to post about Victoria Square in Belfast, see that I've been beaten to it. I'd love to be able to pay £9 for a full day's parking anywhere in this city.
  • Brad
    Try parking in London anywhere cheep. Then actually try finding somewhere that lets you stay more then 2 hours.
  • Darren W.
    ALEX just because someone has a merc or BMW doesnt mean they are using there grans Permit!! Half the disabled people who drive decent cars get them on that motability scheme anyway, my mother drives a nice 3 series BMW on Motability... free roadtax, free insurance, MOT etc and an upgrade every 3 years... and your moaning that they have to pay for a parking space... Public transport is suitable for disabled people and wheelchairs... even bus timetables tell you which bus service is suitable for disabled passengers... I think you whinging about disabled car park spaces is nonsense.
  • Alistair
    Was gonna mention any NCP car park - they really do extract the urine. What saddens me is the fact that many small towns now look like ghost towns due to the current economic climate and councils trying to jump on the 'fleece the motorist' bandwagon. I have a choice of two such towns near me, Kilmarnock & Irvine, I couldn't tell you the last time I went to Kilmarnock as it costs me to park the car and the place is like an old ghost town. Irvine on the other hand has oodles of free parking and a better selection of shops.
  • Mike H.
    "My mother drives a nice 3 series BMW on Motability… free roadtax, free insurance, MOT etc and an upgrade every 3 years…" No Offence Darren, but that makes me want to be a disabled out of work mum with three kids, shit, I could stay at home, watch DVD's all day and get FUCKIN*G paid to do it! (You can keep shitty BMW though)
  • Ben
    Would love to see where in Upper East Side you can park for 10 hours on a Saturday for less than £9 ($14).
  • LUFC86
    £12 per day, Wakefield Ridings shopping centre. Leeds United car Park £5 for 2 hours during matchday.
  • Darren W.
    MIKE HOCK I havent spoken to my mother in ten years, she is a right benefit cheater (yes I have reported my own mother) but Im sure this is for another topic, but I would agree with you on wanting to stay at home some people do that as a job!!! how mad is this government
  • andy
    “My mother drives a nice 3 series BMW on Motability… free roadtax, free insurance, MOT etc and an upgrade every 3 years…” dareen if you say you've never used mom's disabled permit to park i won't believe you...
  • Darren W.
    Andy Never have, I dont drive.
  • Paul S.
    @Ben I saw two garages there last weekend - I only remember them because of that price. They were around 79th Street, between Lexington and York. Or thereabouts.
  • Mr C.
    Get a life you moaning retards :)
  • Amanda H.
    Am I a retard? If so, Can I get Mobility with that?
  • andy y.
    £10 a day .James Cook Hospital Teesside.Don't get sick
  • jack
    nothing beats Birmingham Pallasades Car Park. This weekend parked to return sth to Argos. Came back 15 mons later.... it cost me 5.00gbp. Noone to talk to from CS. Apparently thats a normal charge during weekends-regardless how long you stay... I paid fiver for 15 mins. GUTTED!!!
    Darlo is a pain in the backside to park, traffic wardens there are so quick they could beat bolt...infact they should be made into benefit inspectors. Shops / town centers are complaining cos no one will come to them, cos of this sort of crap, id rather buy across the internet or in retail parks. And the James cook hosp parking is disgusting, your punished for being ill or visiting.
  • Ben
    @Paul Will have to have a look out for them, thanks! Regularly over there for work and end up parking in the Icon carparks. About $30-$40 for the 10 hours, but at least they're secure and actually designed as carparks as opposed to the random lumps of tarmac in other parts of town...
  • Specialist
    The mall carpark in gloucester, £10 for the day, 09:30 til 16.00 Robbing gits. What a dive!
  • sam m.
    wonder how many hours u can park for with £2...haha FAIL!
  • Michael
    I am a disabled driver, I do not recieve any benefits apart from the blue badge. I travel 55 miles to work every day and have to park in an NCP car park in a disabled parking space. I have to pay £9.80 per day. Not all people with disbailities are cheats. I find some of your comments extreme nonsense. Disabled drivers only get a limited time in "free spaces" as you put it. For those of you who made the comments I wish that you never loose the use of your legs like some of us have and grow up, stop moaning and get a life!!!!!!
  • Luke p.
    Rates in my local town are quite fair, I haven't come across a parking lot near my area that was as expensive as yours. It has to be down to the fact that there are events on.
  • RIP N.
    Hey you should come to Nottingham, we are having a nice new Car Park Built at the train station, but it costs 9.50 per day OR PART THEREOF... In other words 9.50 for 45 minutes as I found out to my own expense!!! NCP - BRail... all the same - RIP OFF Britain

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