Minister meters out criticism of Sheffield parking charges

Eric Pickles
Eric Pickles

A Government minister has waded into the row about Sheffield city centre parking charges – and accused Sheffield Council of driving away business.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, pictured right, said ‘draconian’ council parking policies were driving motorists away from high streets across England.

His comments came as one Sheffield trader said he had seen a 40 per cent fall in turnover since the new fees were introduced in April.

Sheffield Council made the changes – which include a 17 per cent hike for on-street parking plus introduction of fees for evenings and on Sundays – due to Government budgetcuts.

Mr Pickles said: “Anti-car measures are driving motorists into the arms of internet retailers and out-of-town superstores, taking their custom with them.”