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Agenda item

Wiltshire Local Transport Plan 2011-2026 - Car Parking Strategy

A report by the Corporate Director, Department for Neighbourhood and Planning is circulated

 

Minutes:

Public participation

 

Questions and written statements received all on the car parking charges element of the Car Parking Strategy were provided to Cabinet members, made available at the meeting and can be accessed on the following link of the Council’s website:

 

http://cms.wiltshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=141&MId=509&Ver=4

 

Questions

 

The Leader reported receipt of two questions as follows:

 

Question from Mr Michael Williams MBE, Chief Executive of the Wessex Association of Chambers of Commerce which included a letter addressed to Cllr Dick Tonge, Cabinet member for Highways and Transport dated 2 December 2010.

 

Question from Mr Jonathon Knee, General Manager of HJ Knee Ltd Department Store, Trowbridge.

 

Written Statements

 

The Leader referred to written submissions received from the following:

 

PortonDown Tripartite Estates Group

John Glen - Member of Parliament for Salisbury in respect of Salisbury and

      Amesbury

Amesbury Town Council

Col (Ret’d) CA Heggie, Amesbury

Mrs Susie Heggie, Amesbury

Mr Brian C Thompson, Amesbury

Mrs PH and Mr DJ Skinner, Amesbury

Dr Brian Batten, Amesbury

Lt Col NOH de Foubert, Amesbury

Major General and Mrs Patrick Brooking, Amesbury

Mr Michael Freedman, Amesbury

Mr and Mrs Rogers, re Amesbury

Mr and Mrs Rose, Amesbury

Mr FA Bush, Amesbury

Ms C Kisley, Amesbury

Ms Mary Wilson, Amesbury

Mr John Coleman for and on behalf of Amesbury Redevelopment Partnership

Mr John Todd for an on behalf of the Stonehenge Chamber of Trade, Amesbury

Mr Martin and Rosemary Gairdner, Berwick St James

Kate Freeman on behalf of Association of Kennet Passengers

Mr Terry Fell, Devizes

Ms Dee La Vardera, Devizes

Mr Colin Garrett, Devizes

Mrs Anne Richards, Devizes

Ms Judy Bridger, Devizes

Mr Brian Crook, Devizes

Mr and Mrs Larden, Devizes

Mr Nicholas Godden, Devizes

Mr Tony Morton, Devizes

Mr Richard Jaggs for an on behalf of the Devizes Chamber of Commerce

Mr Ian Storey, Corsham

Mr WGV Hall, Director, Martingate Centre Ltd, Corsham

Mr Brian Deeley on behalf of the Trustees, Staff and Volunteers of Age UK

     Wiltshire

Mr Tony Niklin, Chairman of the Car Parking Strategy Working Group for and on behalf of Warminster Town Council

Julie Owen, Lower Compton

Margaret Rawlings, Chippenham

Mr Marcus Kirschner, Chippenham

Sue Atkinson, Calne

Victoria Morris, Marlborough

Terry Parkinson, Salisbury

Mr Vince Delderfield, Salisbury

Terry Parkinson, Salisbury

Mr Pete Hawkins

Cllr Nigel Carter, Wiltshire Councillor for Devizes North

Cllr Russell Hawker, Wiltshire Councillor for Westbury West

 

Verbal Representations

 

The Leader provided an opportunity to the above mentioned where present at the meeting and any other members of the public present to address Cabinet to express their views should they wish to do so. She thanked those members of the public who had taken the time to submit their views and gave an assurance that all comments received had been considered and taken into account by Cabinet. Cllr Tonge undertook to respond to all those who had submitted written comments.

 

The following speakers addressed Cabinet:

 

Mr Jonathon Knee, General Manager, HJ Knee Ltd Department Store,

Trowbridge

Mr Tony Niklin, Warminster Town Council

Mr Christopher Marsh, Warminster Town Council

Mr John Todd for and on behalf of the Stonehenge Chamber of Trade

Mr Andrew Williams

Mr Rhind-Tutt, Deputy Mayor of Amesbury Town Council

Mr Giuseppe Ardani of Giuseppe’s Barber and Café Mondo, Amesbury

Kate Freeman on behalf of Association of Kennet Passengers

Mr Mitchell, Chairman of Mere Parish Council

Mr Peter Coopman, Tisbury

 

 

Debate

 

Cllr Dick Tonge, Cabinet member for Highways and Transport presented the report on the Wiltshire Local Transport Plan 2011-2026 – Car Parking Strategy for Cabinet’s consideration and approval.  He tabled a further amendment to the proposal at (iv) in the report in respect of the charging for Salisbury.

 

He explained the background to the Strategy and the need for its review. He emphasised that car parking was a strategic issue which required a County wide approach and was not just about car parking charges. He did however, appreciate that the charging element was a difficult issue.

 

He explained that the Strategy covered the following areas:

 

  • The way the Council should manage its parking stock both on street and off street
  • How charges should be determined and revised in future
  • What standards should be applied in new residential and non residential developments
  • The policy for publicly available non-residential parking such as new supermarkets
  • Residents parking zones
  • Parking at railway stations
  • Residents overspill parking and several other areas

 

Cllr Tonge explained the review process. It was noted that the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Environment Select Committee had in January 2010 considered a report which set out the proposed methodology and timescale for reviewing the Strategy.  The Committee considered that Area Boards should be used for consultation purposes only as it was felt inappropriate for Area Boards to take full responsibility for parking charges in their areas and this approach was adopted. The Committee resolved to receive a further update prior to the Strategy being considered by Cabinet at this meeting.

 

Accordingly, Cllr Tonge also attended the Committee on 2 November 2010 to update it on the Strategy, provide an overview of the consultation process answer any questions the Committee had. He also explained the concept of having four bands for parking charges. The Committee resolved ‘To congratulate the Cabinet member on the work undertaken and note the update provided and request that the comments made are taken into consideration by the Cabinet member prior to the final reports submission to Cabinet’.

 

Consultation on the Strategy was undertaken from 12 July to 3 September 2010 using a variety of means. Representations were received from 570 people and organisations which provided 4,582 comments in addition to comments received from town and parish councils and Chambers of Commerce. Feedback on the consultation findings were presented to all Area Boards between 22 September and 23 November 2010. Cllr Tonge also acknowledged the resolution of the South West Wiltshire Area Board at its meeting on 25 August 2010 as tabled.

 

On the basis of the consultation the ‘preferred option’ for car parking charges had been applied as detailed in the report presented.  Representations were made from Salisbury supported by Salisbury City Centre Management for an alternative option of a £2.00 flat charge for the first two hours parking. This had been accepted as Salisbury was in its own band and the revenue effect would be neutral.

 

Representations were also received in respect of the Market Place car park in Devizes. Both Marlborough and Devizes (which previously came under Kennet District Council) had charges higher than other band 3 towns although it was recognised that Marlborough did benefit from having some on-street parking free for half an hour. It was therefore proposed to treat Devizes and Marlborough equally by providing a free half an hour time period in the Market Place car park in Devizes.

 

In light of the representations received in respect of Amesbury, Cllr Tonge added a proposal to provide 25% of parking spaces in the Town Centre car park free for the first hour for the first year followed by a review.

 

It was noted that no Town Council had taken up the opportunity to buy back a proportion of parking spaces. However, a number of Town and Parish Councils had expressed an interest in the option to manage small band 4 car parks as an alternative to charges.

 

The Chambers of Commerce had made representations concerning the cost of parking for staff working in local shops. Cllr Tonge drew Cabinet’s attention to the proposal to review season tickets and permits along with reviews on residents’ parking zones, on-street waiting restrictions and parking enforcement.

 

Cllr Tonge emphasised that car parking and public transport were strategically linked and that bus services played a vital role particularly in the more rural parts of the County. Almost half of bus journeys were subsidised directly by the Council costing £5.4 million per annum and would in the main, be discontinued without such subsidy.

 

Cllr Tonge referred to the significant reduction in Government grant and the impact this would have on the transport budget.  Far from looking to making a profit from any increase in parking charges, one of the proposals was for any surplus parking revenue over and above the forecast income to be hypothecated to support sustainable transport measures such as local bus services. 

 

Cllr Tonge appreciated that any decision to increase car parking charges would not be well received with a perception of unfairly taxing the motorist. The charges as proposed were set a level, lower than those in surrounding local authority areas and would contribute to subsidising much needed local bus services without being so high that residents would be deterred from shopping in Wiltshire Towns. Cllr Tonge moved the proposal together with the amendment as tabled in respect of Salisbury and the additional proposal in respect of Amesbury.  The amendment with regard to Salisbury was concerned with the 10% uplift.  The amendment with regard to Amesbury was made due to the disruption that will be caused by Highway Agency works on the A303 and other local road works planned and the fact that Amesbury is the only Band 3 town where there is no charging currently.

 

Having heard contributions from members of the public, the Leader opened the debate to Cabinet members and then to other members of the Council. A number of comments were made during the debate with arguments both for and against the proposals and included calls for the proposals to be deferred for further consideration.  An opinion was made that the Strategy had not been properly scrutinised by the Environment Select Committee and that this could lead to the decision being called in.

 

Concerns were also expressed over the impact increased parking charges could have on the economic viability and vitality of towns such as Amesbury which had already suffered from a significant number of shop closures. The Leader acknowledged the difficulties in Amesbury but pointed out that such difficulties were being experienced in a climate where parking was currently free and therefore not attributable to parking charges. She offered the services of the Council’s Economic Development section to see how Amesbury or any other struggling towns could be supported.

 

The Leader thanked all those present for their participation in what was a very balanced and thorough debate and it was

 

Resolved:

 

That Cabinet approve the Wiltshire Local Transport Plan 2011 – 2026: Car Parking Strategy including the following:

 

(i)                 Support the concept of spatial bands (as shown in Table 1) as a realistic way of balancing the different needs of towns with the achievement of a more consistent approach to parking throughout Wiltshire.

 

(ii)               Approve the parking charges (Monday – Saturday) as set-out in Table 2 for implementation in 2011/12.

 

(iii)             Agree to a free half an hour time period for the Market Place car park in Devizes.

 

(iv)             Agree that where there would be a reduction in a car park charge as a result of the introduction of the charges set-out in Table 2, then the current charge (subject to the proposal at (v)) would remain in place until equalisation is achieved (except for the first 2 hour period in Salisbury (excluding the Market Place) where the charge in Table 2 (subject to the proposal at (v)) would apply). Thereafter, the car park charge would increase in line with the relevant band increases.

 

(v)               Approve a ten per cent increase in all on and off-street parking charges  (i.e. over and above the increases set-out in Table 2 as shown in Appendix 5 of the report presented and as shown below:

 

Band

Stay

<1hr

<2hr

<3hr

<4hr

<5hr

<8hr

All day

1

Short

-

£2.20

£4.20

-

-

-

-

1

Long

-

£2.20

£4.00

£4.60

£5.50

£7.40

£7.40

2

Short

£1.10

£1.50

£3.20

-

-

-

-

2

Long

£0.90

£1.30

£2.60

£3.10

£4.20

£5.40

£5.90

3

Short

£0.40

£1.20

£2.10

-

-

-

-

3

Long

£0.30

£1.10

£2.00

£2.40

£3.20

£5.20

£5.60

4

Short

£0.30

£1.10

£2.00

-

-

-

-

4

Long

£0.20

£1.00

£1.90

£2.30

£2.90

£4.80

£5.20

Note: Charges have been rounded to the nearest 10 pence increment.

 

 

(vi)             Agree that any surplus parking revenue (i.e. that which is over and above the forecast income of £5,040,000) is hypothecated to support sustainable transport measures (e.g. local bus services).

 

(vii)           To note that the parking charges in Chippenham, Salisbury and Trowbridge may need to be amended in light of the outcomes of area transport strategies to support planned growth.

 

(viii)         Approve the principle of the following opportunities:

 

·                    Enable Band 3 towns to ‘buy back’ a small proportion of short-stay spaces from Wiltshire Council to offer as free parking spaces.

 

·                    Enable Band 4 towns to take over the management of local public car parks and associated costs as an alternative to parking charges being set by Wiltshire Council.

 

(ix)      Delegate authority to the Corporate Director for Neighbourhood and Planning in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, and with the advice of legal representation, to negotiate and agree the lease and legal agreement with relevant parish and town councils for implementation from 1 April 2011.

 

(x)               Agree that significant reviews of parking charges are undertaken every five years based on ‘Policy PS3 – Parking Charges’ with interim reviews carried out annually based on an assessment of parking charges in key neighbouring towns and the annual Consumer Price Index (as at September each year with reviewed charges rounded to the nearest ten pence).  Consideration will also need to be taken of the outcomes of area transport strategies developed to support planned growth.

 

(xi)             Support the adoption of minimum residential parking standards.

 

(xii)           Agree the presumption that any planning application which includes provision for publicly available private non-residential parking will be required to provide an accompanying car park management plan and, subject to a case-by-case analysis, to implement parking restrictions and charges consistent with those of council run car parks in the local area.

 

(xiii)         Approve the retention of the current Sunday parking charge of £1.50 in Salisbury (subject to the proposal at (v)) and the removal of Sunday parking charges in Bradford on Avon.  Support the following addition to ‘Policy PS3 – Parking Charges’:

 

‘Sunday parking charges will be considered where there is an identified traffic congestion or air quality issue, or where there is a strong and established parking demand from shoppers or visitors’.

 

(xiv)        Cabinet also agreed that in respect of Amesbury, 25% of car parking spaces in the Town Centre remain free of charge for the first hour for a period of one year to be followed by a review.

 

(xv)          Delegate authority to the Corporate Director for Neighbourhood and Planning in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport to undertake and approve the reviews on residents’ parking zones, on-street waiting restriction reviews, season tickets and permits, and parking enforcement.

 

(xvi)        Delegate authority to the Corporate Director for Neighbourhood and Planning in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport to finalise the strategy document for publication as part of the third Wiltshire Local Transport Plan by 31 March 2011.

 

Reason for Decision:

 

In order to commence implementation of the revised LTP Car Parking Strategy following public consultation.

Supporting documents:

 

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