the commute chaos in Leeds city centre is set to motor on after the council opted to cut off parking meters in one of the city’s busiest areas.
On-street parking meters in the Springwell Street and surrounding ares at Holbeck have been deemed out of order by the council due to vandalism.
Now drivers have to download an app or pass their bank details via an automated phone message to pay for parking.
It is being administered by third party firm, Parkmobile, which charges motorists 25p per day on top of the usual parking charges and say it is “for convenience” - despite there being no alternative for drivers whether they have the correct fee in cash or not.
Ruth Horsley said: “Not only do you have to pay with a phone, before you walk away from your car, if you don’t log out when you return to your car, you will pay for a full day parking, and not the two hours you hoped for. This system is yet another money making scheme targeted to motorists.”
Another motorist has been unable to park there because he doesn’t have a mobile phone and Kathryn Woodhouse added: “No vandalism to the machines near where I park for work. ParkMobile is not convenient. I’d rather use a metre and not pay the extra 25p every day.”
A Leeds City Council spokesperson said the authority had been left with no option due to vandalism and theft but was looking at other options.
“We are trialling and assessing the potential of machines that are more resistant to the type of criminal behaviour we have seen regularly occur to other parking machines in Holbeck and other areas.
“We are aware of the 25p charge required to pay for parking via a mobile phone app or over the phone due to machines being out of use. This is administered by a private company to cover administration costs, with the council not receiving any of this fee. We are currently working with the provider to see how this can be reduced.