Scrutiny committee debates initial findings of car parking review
No decisions have been made on proposed changes to car park charges and we are listening – that was the message when councillors discussed the initial findings from a review into car parking.
A number of options have been put forward by Shropshire Council officers following a review into parking charges, and the enterprise and growth scrutiny committee debated the initial proposals on Friday 25 May 2012.
The proposals in the report included removing Sunday charges in some areas and charging a flat fee of £2.50 in others, as well as amending the charging bands in some market town car parks.
Councillors discussed a number of alternative options, such as the possibility of residents taking over their own local car park, or town and parish councils taking on some smaller car parks.
During the debate, individual councillors gave their own suggestions, such as introducing a fee for evening parking in Shrewsbury if that could offset daytime charges, and making Sunday parking free in all car parks.
The review will now be discussed further over the summer, with updated proposals coming back to the scrutiny committee in August. Proposals will then go to Cabinet for final decisions in September.
Chairman of the enterprise and growth scrutiny committee, Councillor Steve Davenport, said:
“Parking is a very emotive topic and I thought we had a really helpful debate with some good, innovative ideas being put forward by members of the committee. Officers will now take our comments on board, talk to more people over the summer, and come back to us with some revised proposals. This committee is all about helping Shropshire’s economy to grow, and I think if we get this strategy right it can help to do that.”
Cabinet member for transport, Councillor Simon Jones, added:
“It’s important to be clear that these are only ideas at this stage, and we are listening to people’s views. I hope businesses and residents will appreciate that we are doing all we can to ensure shoppers are still able to visit their town centres without being put off by parking charges.”
The main proposals presented to the committee were:
Car parks which currently have charging bands of 10p or free for 0-2 hours and £1.80 for 2-10 hours proposed to change to:
- 10p for 0-2 hours
- 50p for 2-4 hours
- £1.00 for 4-6 hours
- £1.80 for 6-10 hours
Sunday parking proposed to be free in the following car parks:
- Market Drayton – Towers Lawn/Frogmore/Queen Street
- Whitchurch – Newtown/St John’s Street/Brownlow Street/Castle Hill/Pepper Street
- Ellesmere – all car parks
- Wem – all car parks
- Shifnal – all car parks
- Church Stretton – all car parks (excludes Crossways HGV)
- Much Wenlock – all car parks
Sunday parking proposed to move to a £2.50 flat rate in all Shropshire Council-owned Shrewsbury car parks.
More discussions to take place about Sunday charging in Bridgnorth, Ludlow and Oswestry car parks.
As part of the review, it is also proposed to update ticket machines so they will be able to accept new 5p and 10p coins.