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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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On-street parking fee date looms

CALLS for Cumbria County Council to re-think its decision on the introduction of on-street parking charges were rejected on Monday by the authority’s scrutiny board.

By Margaret Crosby

The decision had been “called-in” at the behest of Tory and Independent councillors.

But the council has promised a flexible, local approach to managing the change. For Whitehaven, the Copeland Local Committee (of the CCC) will decide which streets are suitable for charging, and will also have the flexibility to allow some spaces to be free for the first 20 minutes and to tailor the level of charging to specific locations.

This will encourage the pop-to-the-shop principle of keeping the availability of the most convenient spaces high, says the council, while helping it cover the cost of parking enforcement.

Eleven towns are earmarked for on-street charging: Whitehaven, Workington Maryport, Keswick, Cockermouth, Penrith, Kendal, Barrow, Windermere & Bowness, and Ambleside.

Now the county’s six Local committees will consult with the public on new recommendations, though Eden has already said it will refuse to implement the charges.

Keith Little, Cabinet member responsible for highways and transport, said: “Let’s not damn this before it has happened and recognise that research and experience in other parts of the country shows that charging to park in the highest demand areas increases the turnover of vehicles, encourages people to use off-street car parks and decreases congestion.

“All these factors make the high street more viable, not less. By delivering this through experimental traffic orders, we can make adjustments further down the line to address any issues which do arise.”

The timetable is for experimental Traffic Regulation Orders on proposed charging locations and charging rates to be published for local and statutory consultation at local committee meetings from July.

Consultation will then take place over August and September before local committees meet gain in October to consider the results of the consultation and agree which streets are to be included.

The introduction and operation of parking meters in agreed locations should be legally possible from December onwards.

Have your say

Will the blue badge brigade be charged for double yellow line parking ?
If not you can get rid of on street disabled bays..... no one will use them.

Posted by dr.iver on 17 June 2014 at 09:40

They could make it free parking for the first hour on the car parks. This will allow people to pop into town to buy a few items from local shops, whilst reducing congestion. Anthing over an hour should be chargeable...after all most would struggle to find enough shops to visit in the space of an hour in Whitehaven...so that leaves the town centre workers and the 'daily wanderers' (with nothing better to do than hang around town). Tourists will expect to pay anyhow.
Problem is, given that everyone will start using car parks, they will be busier and the paying parkers may not get parked due to the 'free 1hr' parkers? This would reignite (not that it has ever gone away) the Multi-story furore!!
Although, I suppose Whitehaven is quieter on weekdays and the Albion Square residents will not be there at a weeken...so it could work? Only a trail will tell!
Oh..but wait...as Cockermouthgirl said, it's not really about congestion, is it?

Posted by Bailey on 17 June 2014 at 07:57

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