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Agenda item

Review of Parking Strategy

To review the implementation of the Council’s Parking Strategy.


Contact:  Steve Brown,  Interim Head of Infrastructure and Communities Tel 07990 085581


The Chairman introduced this item and noted that Mayor Gill from Ludlow Town Council was in attendance and would be permitted to address the Committee. She also noted that Councillors David Turner, Andy Boddington and Chris Mellings had also requested to speak. She asked them to keep their contributions to no more than three minutes each, which they agreed to do.


Mayor Gill representing Ludlow Town Council addressed Members.  He expressed concerns regarding the impact of the Car Parking Strategy on businesses in Ludlow.  He reported that the Town Council had undertaken a questionnaire, where businesses had reported decreased turnover since the changes were implemented.  He requested that the Car Parking Strategy be changed to allow 1 hour free parking in the town, and the Pop and Shop scheme be extended to allow 30 minutes free parking.  In response to a Member’s question, Mayor Gill confirmed that no foot fall surveys had been undertaken to confirm the shop holders decrease in trade was due to fewer shoppers.


Councillor Andy Boddington asked for clarification of the trends shown in the report.  He commented that members of the public did not understand the signs explaining the Pop and Shop Policy and asked the Committee to be aware of the impact of the removal of short term parking restriction in the Castle Street car park coupled with increased business rates had had on businesses within the town. He also noted that shopping habits in Shrewsbury and Ludlow were quite different and asked Members to be aware that what worked in Shrewsbury would not necessarily work in Ludlow. He requested that Members recommend the re-instatement of the four-hour limit to parking in the Castle Street car park and re-instate the Pop and Shop Scheme to 20 minutes.


Councillor David Turner observed that the public were generally satisfied with the Car Parking Strategy but noted that off street parking should be better signposted. He continued that the resident parking/season ticket parking had not been sufficiently promoted, and no liaison had been undertaken with local businesses to promote parking options.  He suggested that the drivers of poorly parked vehicles be given information on parking options.  He also suggested that there should be some free parking made available.


Councillor Chris Mellings reported the Wem Town Council had undertaken a survey with businesses within the town to assess the impact of the Car Parking Strategy.  The respondents reported reduced footfall and lost trade.  He continued that a number of key businesses in the town had recently closed or relocated and increased parking charges had discouraged shoppers from the using the remaining businesses.  He continued that the Town Council had been in communication with Whitchurch Town Council and Ellesmere Town Council and all three were experiencing similar difficulties following the implementation of the Car Parking Strategy.  He asked Members to consider the cost of parking permits which had proved unpopular and seen as discriminating against market towns.


The Transport Commissioner gave a presentation on the usage of car parks since the implementation of the Car Park Strategy. [Copy attached to the signed minutes].  Members noted the car park usage for each car park included in the scheme.  The Transport Commissioner confirmed that the data was produced by the ticket machines in each parking location.  Members’ attention was drawn to seasonal or expected peaks and troughs in usage.  He also identified car parks with high demands for season or weekly tickets. 


Members noted that parking demand showed little change since the implementation of the Car Park Strategy, although the Interim Head of Infrastructure and Communities advised that this data had not been collected over a sufficient period of time to enable strong conclusions over emerging patterns of usage to be drawn. 


Members discussed the pop and shop policy and its importance to small businesses.


In response to a Member’s question, the Transport Commissioner confirmed that the Council still operated a waiver scheme for commercial vehicles needing to park to undertake work on premises.  He explained that the Council still used the paper based system but it was anticipated that it would change to the digital format in the next few weeks. 


In response to Members queries regarding the recommendations within the report, the Interim Head of Infrastructure and Communities advised that this was an interim report and Cabinet was being asked to make minor revisions to the scheme before its full review later in the year. 


Members suggested that as part of the parking review Cabinet should be asked to consider the Traffic Regulation Orders which had been in force for many years in some locations.  The Interim Head of Infrastructure and Communities advised that this would be a huge piece of work which would require additional resources to undertake.  He continued that the review of the Car Parking Strategy would be necessary before a review of Traffic Regulation Orders could be undertaken. 


A Members suggested that it would be useful to establish a task and finish group to consider the issues raised by Town and Parish Council with regard to the Car Parking Strategy.  This suggestion was not taken forward. 




i)     That the recommendations as detailed in the report be endorsed and reported to Cabinet Committee;

ii)    That communication to the public and businesses of the Car Parking Strategy is improved; and

iii)   That the Pop and Shop Policy be reviewed.  

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