Council Aims To Cut Parking Charges

The Labour RCT Council is opening up a six week consultation process for shoppers, business owners and residents to voice their opinions on proposals to reduce car parking charges across the County Borough.

The move would look to stimulate the local economy by encouraging residents and visitors to eat, drink and shop in the town centres; and reaffirms the continued commitment of Welsh Labour to support businesses and commerce within Welsh communities, supplemented by the low business rates enjoyed by many local traders thanks to the Welsh Labour Government’s Small Business Relief Scheme.

The proposals, whilst accounting for continued Tory austerity measures and financial pressures on the Local Authority emanating from the unequal funding ingrained in the Barnett Formula, seeks to support residents and visitors by drastically reducing the charges for short, long and seasonal parking.  The hugely popular free festive parking throughout December would become a permanent feature under the revised policy, whilst yearly parking permits will see a significant reduction of £175 to just £200, providing a significant boost to families within the region.

The proposed reductions are as follows:

Short-stay Long-stay
Time Periods Up to1 hr Up to 2hrs Up to 3hrs Up to 4hrs 4hrs Plus Up to 4hrs 4hrs Plus Monthly Permit Annual Permit
Existing 75p £1.50 £2.50 £3.40 £12.55 £1.30 £2.50 £37.50 £375.00
Proposed 50p £1.00 £1.50 £2.00 N / A £1.00 £2.00 £20.00 £200.00

 

County Borough Council Leader, Councillor Andrew Morgan, said:

“Earlier this year I met with a number of traders from our town centres to discuss car parking. This was a constructive meeting in which a commitment was given to review our car park charging arrangements.  The six week consultation, which will begin shortly, outlines proposals to amend our current charges is in response to this meeting.

We have taken on board what we were told at the meeting and have come up with proposals which  could see our existing policy amended as far as possible, when taking into account the continuing impact of austerity and the pressure consequently being applied to council budgets.

In recent years, the boom in online shopping and out-of-town retail parks has led to a reduction in footfall and trade in town centres across the UK.

Locally, the Council has worked with town centre forums and business owners to provide a range of support; including town centre events and free festive parking throughout December.  Under the proposals, free Christmas parking after 10am in all town centre car parks would become a permanent measure in the revised policy.

We have also frozen car park charges as part of the last three budgets, despite needing to make savings in excess of £100m since 2011, and we continue to invest in the regeneration of our town and village centres following investments.

In addition to this, the Welsh Government’s Small Business Rate Relief Scheme has provided a boost for traders with many town centre businesses now either paying nothing or a reduced amount in terms of business rates.

The proposals we are consulting on would, if implemented, include a reduction to 50p for a one hour stay in a short stay car parks and a £1, all-day charge on a Saturday in our long stay car parks to encourage more visitors to park and shop, eat and drink in our diverse range of town centres.

To support people who work in our town centres, we are also proposing a reduction from £375 to £200 for the cost of a yearly parking permit – a saving of £175.

The consultation will inform a future formal decision of Cabinet to review car parking charges once all views have been taken on board.”

If you wish to participate in this consultation, click here.



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