You’ve got your Gorse stacks closure, you’ve got your “high car parking fees killing the city” and you’ve got your free after 3. Parking has been a controversial issue for many years with concerns about the cost and availability of parking as opposed to the 100s of free spaces at places like Cheshire Oaks and Broughton. Now Cheshire West and Cheshire council are consulting residents on how they can improve the parking facilities and “develop a fair and consistent service across the borough”.
The consultation will be based around initial recommendations made by independent consultants. The findings of the draft report cover a wide range of parking issues and many could be seen as topical. The main proposals include :
- The need to address parking pressures by exploring the feasibility of acquiring land for parking and the potential for multi-storey or decked car parks in certain locations, including at some railway stations.
- Improving the quality of the Council’s car parks and raising the standard of the most used car parks to the best industry standard.
- Updating car park technology to provide greater choice and flexibility for customers by providing a range of payment methods; including card, phone and account payment options.
- Introducing modest charges at some car parks to ensure there is sufficient, good quality, secure car parking available and to be consistent across the borough.
- Introducing a range of more flexible offers as a possible alternative to current concessions such as discounts for motorists arriving before 8am and after 10am, having participating retailers refund or part-pay for parking charges, discounted evening parking, weekend discounts and offers during quiet seasonal periods.
- Introducing parking charges in car parks for Blue Badge holders to contribute to parking provision and enable investment to be made to improve the size, quality and number of disabled spaces across the borough.
The public consultation will take place over 12 weeks from 25 November and will include drop-in sessions at 10 locations across the borough.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore said: “Our population and car ownership rates are steadily rising and land available for car parking is decreasing.
“Over the coming years, the Council needs to find ways to invest in additional parking provision, improve the quality of car parks, support local business, manage traffic flow and reduce congestion, while at the same time protecting the environment and public health.
“There is an imbalance at the moment, as residents and businesses in some areas are paying for parking and others are not.
“It is important to stress that at this stage we are only consulting on the proposals made by the independent consultants and no decisions have been made.
“We are seeking the views of all interested parties and we will be having conversations with groups representing the disabled to obtain their views on proposals to charge Blue Badge holders for parking which has been introduced in other areas across the country.
“I hope as many people as possible get involved in this consultation and share their views and ideas.”
Drop-in sessions, which will be led by independent consultants, have been organised across the borough to give residents the opportunity to give their views. The drop-in sessions will start on Tuesday 29 November and continue through to Tuesday 24 January 2017.
You do not need to register, just turn up on the day. The dates, venues and other details are as follows:
|Chester, Farndon||Chester Town Hall, 33 Northgate Street, Chester, CH1 2HQ||Tuesday 29 November 2016||3pm-7pm|
|Northwich||Northwich Memorial Court. Chester Way, Northwich, CW9 5QJ||Wednesday 30 November 2016||3pm-7pm|
|Ellesmere Port||Ellesmere Port Library, Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BG||Monday 5 December 2016||3pm-7pm|
|Frodsham||Frodsham Library, Princeway, Frodsham,
|Thursday 8 December 2016||3pm-7pm|
|Neston, Parkgate and Willaston||Neston Library, Parkgate Road, CH64 6QE||Tuesday 13 December 2016||3pm-7pm|
|Weaverham, Cuddington and Sandiway||Weaverham Community Centre. Russet Road, Weaverham,
|Tuesday 10 January 2017||3pm-7pm|
|Helsby||Tesco, Chester Road, Helsby
|Thursday 12 January 2017||3pm-7pm|
|Malpas||Co-op, The Cross, Malpas, SY14 8NQ||Tuesday 17 January 2017||3pm-7pm|
|Winsford||Winsford Lifestyle Centre, The Drumber, Winsford, CW7 1AD||Thursday 19 January 2017||3pm-7pm|
|Tarporley, Tarvin and Kelsall||Tarporley Community Centre, High Street, Tarporley, CW6 0AY||Tuesday 24 January 2017||3pm-7pm|
There are also a number of other ways to have your say:
- Go online to: http://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/parkingstrategy
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: 0300 123 7024
- Write to: Parking Services, Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE
The consultation ends on 24 February 2017 and the new Parking Strategy will be finalised in the middle of next year