Locker charges rise at stations

Bicycle lockers on Lancaster railway station.
Bicycle lockers on Lancaster railway station.

Charges could be introduced for use of cycle lockers at Lancaster and Morecambe train stations.

Lancaster City Council’s cabinet has backed plans to charge for hire of 44 lockers at Lancaster and 10 at Morecambe from April 2013.

There is currently a £50 deposit required but once this is paid there is no time limit on use of a locker.

A council reports says: “‘Locker for life’ means infrequent or non-users are not penalised or even identified – penalising potentially more frequent and therefore legitimate users.”

There are currently 33 people on a waiting list for use of a locker at Lancaster.

Councillors asked officers to come up with proposals for the amount to be charged. The cash raised could be used to help fund new and replacement lockers.

After the meeting, Dick Follows of the Lancaster Dynamo cycling club said: “I have noticed lots of lockers which don’t seem to be used at Lancaster, so if the charge is reasonable I don’t have a problem with this.”

But Mr Follows urged the council to invest in continental style cages which could accommodate more bicycles.

Cabinet delayed proposals to increase the cost of an hour’s off-street parking from £1.20 to £1.30.

That would raise an extra £46,000 to take account of inflation at 2 per cent.

But councillors first want to ensure that Lancashire County Council will raise the cost of on-street parking as its policy is to encourage off-street parking.

The Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce has opposed any increase in parking charges. It has instead called for United Utilities to subsidise cheaper parking from February when it begins more than two years of sewer works which are likely to cause disruption for drivers.

A spokeswoman said: “We continue to voice our concern over the lack of a clear strategy for car parking within the district.

“If that strategy is to force people out of their cars then the council should be honest and state that.

“There continues to be an attitude of revenue raising from this source to meet budget shortfalls.

“This strategy will be the final nail in the coffin for business in the city.”

Other charges to increase include the cost of swimming, which will rise by 10p.

Many other charges at Salt Ayre Sports Centre, recreation grounds and parks will increase by between 0.3 per cent and 19 per cent.

But the cost of hiring recreation ground season tickets, per hour uses and use of the Multi Use Games Area at Happy Mount Park have been cut by between 10.4 per cent and 61.1 per cent.

Burial, pest control and port charges will rise by 2 per cent.