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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Whitehaven parking charges get go-ahead

CONTROVERSIAL proposals to introduce on-street car parking charges in Whitehaven have been given the go-ahead.

Members of the county’s Copeland Local Committee met last week and confirmed the £1.80-an-hour charges as part of a pilot project.

But Coun David Southward proposed a motion to set a tariff of a penny a minute for the first 20 minutes to allow shoppers to have short stays if needed. This was seconded by members.

He said: “It sounds like the meters will be very sophisticated so we are able to set the rates. There is infinite scope to set the rates. What we want is for people to pop into a shop if they want.”

Lowther Street, Market Place, Queen Street, Duke Street, James Street and Church Street are proposed as locations.

Coun Henry Wormstrup raised concerns about lower Queen Street being included as a proposed location, while Coun Brian Crawford said it needs to be clearer that disabled blue-badge-holders will be exempt from on-street car parking in Whitehaven, as they are exempt from current parking restrictions.

Councillors also said residents with parking permits would still be able to use their permit in areas where the charges are introduced.

Coun Keith Hitchen was concerned about the process of the introduction of the charges. But Coun Southward said: “This decision is to implement a decision already taken by the county council cabinet. This is a matter of implementing it in each of the six districts. It’s not a case of whether we agree to on-street parking or not – it’s the manner in which we do it.”

A statutory consultation period now takes place. The Local Committee will then have to make an experimental traffic regulation order. This will be in place for 18 months. During this time, amendments can be made to the order. It can then be either scrapped or made permanent by the county council.

Whitehaven is one of 11 towns across Cumbria to have the new charges introduced by Cumbria County Council. The authority, which is facing severe spending cuts, calculates on-street parking county-wide will generate £350,000 in the first year and £700,000 afterwards.

County councillors from Allerdale and Eden districts have rejected proposals for parking charges.

Have your say

Absolute madness ! Haven't these councillors heard of the law of unexpected consequences ? The town could well become unviable for commerce. £1.80 per hour is lunacy. The 1p per minute idea for the first 20 minutes is the first spark of good sense......that rate applied to the whole hour might be accepted. I despair for the future viability of Whitehaven.....a town being vandalised by people who ought to know better. And when commerce has been chased away, what will that do to the county council budget ?

Posted by M Graves on 8 August 2014 at 12:09

People will simply avoid going into town , I know that i will.
Another killer blow for a dying town.

Posted by Norman young on 7 August 2014 at 14:44

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