1 Dec 2014

MK Council is planning to hike parking charges in CMK: up from 40p to 50 p per hour for purple standard rate bays, and from £1.40 to  £2.00 per hour for red ‘premium’ bays. The cost of buying CMK employee permits will also go up, as discounts will be cut from 50% to 25% by 2017/18.

These details are in the draft budget due for Council discussion 8 Dec. and open to public ‘consultation’ until end Jan. But last time the Council hiked rates to this extent, in 2011, they simply ignored warnings from businesses, workers and residents and the result was acres of empty parking spaces. People voted with their wheels. Trade fell in the city centre, and just as predicted, hard-pressed workers migrated to nearby residential roads searching for free parking, which still causes problems for people living near CMK.

However, if people do eventually pay up, this would raise Council parking income to £14m p.a. with some of the surplus used to invest in more off-street parking.

MK News recently launched a ‘Fair Parking’ campaign to bring the plight of office workers to the attention of MK Council. But has this given the Council the perfect ‘excuse’ to raise rates? The consolation prize is providing another 2,000 parking spaces. But where would they be? When delivered? And what form would they take? Hopefully not a lifeless, multi-storey car park on a prime site. Or a badly-lit, litter-strewn temporary car park, which makes a shabby welcome to CMK.

Local Tory leader Edith Bald has hit out saying the price hikes will ‘seriously damage the economy of the city centre’ and, by implication, of the entire region. CMK is the engine of the regional economy, but it’s already in danger of stalling due to competition from the uncontrolled rise of out of town developments (offering free parking) and failed parking and public transport policies.

This year, MK Council started a full parking review for CMK, promising an entire package of smart solutions to be revealed in 2015. But judging by this latest bombshell, let’s hope the current Labour cabinet, just like the Lib-Dems in 2011, have not been blinded by fool’s gold!

Note: xplain is not linked to any political party – we just tell it like it is.


  1. Ken Howells.

    Here we go yet again! They just do not get it, do they?
    It is called the law of diminishing returns. Put up costs =people stay away =less revenue=put up costs=people stay away=well, you get the picture .When will these people ever learn? Hardly the way to encourage people to come here. No doubt these councillors will still keep their free parking area behind the council offices.

    How many times do we hear that parking money is or was ring fenced to improve local transport? Has anyone
    noticed how many buses are still nearly empty?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s