Car parking charges in Huddersfield, Holmfirth and Dewsbury are set to rise on – or shortly after – April 1st 2024, which is Easter Monday.

Kirklees Council originally gave the date as February 19 but there has been a delay which the council hasn’t fully explained.

There has been a ‘non-statutory consultation’ where the council notified councillors and put up posters in car parks and near parking machines.

The Cabinet committee for local issues will meet on Friday (March 22) when councillors will be asked to approve the increases which will see a current £2 charge rising to £3.30 and all-day charges rising from £4 to £6.50. All the new increases can be found HERE.

The charges haven’t been raised since 2009 so the proposed increase is the rate of inflation back-dated 15 years. Most of the charges will rise by more than 60%. A current 5p charge in Dewsbury will see an eight-fold increase to 40p.

In future charges will rise every year with that decision delegated to the council service director responsible for parking.

The council is also planning on introducing charges in all 57 free council car parks across Kirklees. A full public consultation must take place first. This had been repeatedly promised “by the end of February” but no announcement has yet been made as to when this will take place.

Opposition councillors are gearing up to oppose the introduction of charges in village car parks such as Honley and Meltham.

One of them, Holme Valley North Independent Clr Charles Greaves, said: “Town centre businesses are already struggling and that, whilst it is true that charges haven’t increased for many years, the rate of increase is a lot and this will put even more pressure on those businesses.

“Within Holmfirth we are likely to see a lot more fly-parking and pavement parking and that won’t help anyone.

“Whilst the council is struggling for money, it needs to think very carefully about the knock-on effect of its decisions.

“Very few people are aware of the proposal. Whilst the council did not have to go through a proper consultation process to increase rates, it should have done. It needs to explain itself and to justify its decisions – not just do what it wants because it has the power.”

On the charging for free car parks, Clr Greaves added: “The formal consultation on introducing parking charges to all of the other Kirklees car parks will start soon and together with local businesses and residents we will fight it all the way.

“Holme Valley Independent councillors are totally opposed to the introduction of charges into the villages. We need more off-street parking, and better use of the spaces we have – not charges.”

Some of the consultation feedback on parking charges is included in a report to the Cabinet committee.

Two people criticised the cost of parking in Holmfirth, one describing parking for workers in the town as a “nightmare.”

Another person was concerned about the maintenance of the bus station car park in Huddersfield town centre, saying the lift was often out of order and it was “full of potholes” and “filthy.” They described it as an “absolute disgrace.”

A petition with more than 1,500 signatures was also received.

Images by: Huddersfield Hub photographer SEAN DOYLE