Agenda item

Parking Strategy Review and Proposed Changes to Charges and Conditions in Council Car Parks

TO CONSIDER the report of the Head of Transportation and Environment.

Decision:

RESOLVED:

a)     To note the external consultant’s (Steer) Parking Strategy review and its key findings and recommendations;

b)     The Committee to consider any future disposal of city centre car parks identified in the current Local Plan on a case by case basis following specific public consultation and provided there is evidence of overall spare capacity;

c)     To undertake public consultation on the closure of Northgate Car Park;

d)     To consider any additional city centre car park disposals through the review of the next Local Plan;

e)     That the Off Street Parking Places Order (OSPPO) changes contained in Appendix 7 are taken to public consultation;

f)      That the car park improvements identified in paragraph 2.6 are included in the council’s capital Budget; and

g)     That a decision on whether to provide zero emission buses in the next Park & Ride contract will be made when tenders are evaluated in April 2020.

 

Reason for the decision: The proposals would help to meet the existing objectives of the parking strategy, many of the proposals would have a positive impact of climate change and the additional revenue raised would be used to fund other transport/parking improvements that council may wish to deliver as well helping to close the council’s overall funding gap and maintain essential services.

Minutes:

(Earlier Councillor L Jones-Roberts and Councillor I Thomas had made a voluntary announcement that they qualified for the proposed 20% discount for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles at ANPR car parks.)

 

(The following members of the public spoke prior to the consideration of the item Councillor Eden-Green, Andrew Stark, Jeremy Baker and Lisa Carlson.)

                                                                                                             

The Head of Transportation and Environment introduced the report which explained that the parking strategy review had been commissioned to consider policies and charges relating to council car parks. The recommendations in the review were set out in the report and a series of changes were proposed for public consultation. He drew attention to the following matters:

 

1.      It had been the Council’s policy for a number of years to reduce city centre parking and to encourage the use of park and ride in order to reduce congestion.

 

2.      The Council’s Local Plan set out the disposal of city centre car parks, only two of which had been approved, although not yet delivered, so far. 

 

3.      The proposals included consulting on one disposal that was in the Local Plan but not yet approved - the disposal of the Northgate car park to allow the doctors surgery to expand.

 

4.      The rest of the parking strategy would be considered as part of the Local Plan review.

 

5.      The increased parking charges were expected to generate additional funds for climate change initiatives.

 

6.      The business community would be one of the groups potentially most affected by any suggested increases in charges, and the consultation would be extended by one week to allow them more time to respond.

 

The options were set out in the report as follows:

  • That the proposals shown in Appendix 7 are taken to public consultation.
  • That amendments are made to the proposals shown in Appendix 7 and public consultation

is undertaken.

  • That none of the proposals shown in Appendix 7 proceed to public consultation.

 

The Committee debated the report, and the Chief Executive and Head of Transportation and Environment gave points of clarification. Matters including the following additional points were covered:

 

7.    The importance of looking at the right comparators when benchmarking.

 

8.    Income from the proposals would be used to fund Council services.

 

9.    Residents wanted to see a reduction in traffic.

 

10.  Bus pricing, controlling traffic flows and redesigning road layouts to enable more cycling were not within the City council’s control. 

 

11.  The county council were the highways authority and the city council worked with them on the Transport Strategy, but it remained their document.

 

12.  If given the choice people would drive in to the city centre. Taking this choice away would reduce the amount of people going in to the city centre and this was expected to reduce carbon emissions.

 

13.  The Local Plan review processes would see detailed evidence gathered in regards to air quality, provision of houses, traffic management and this would include a detailed modelling.

 

14.  Free parking in Whitstable prior to 10am was designed to allow businesses to benefit from those coming into the city centre at school run time, one of the proposals was that this should cease.

 

During the debate the recommendations as set out in the report, with one amendment, were proposed, seconded and when put to a vote agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

a)      To note the external consultant’s (Steer) Parking Strategy review and its key findings and recommendations;

b)      The Committee to consider any future disposal of city centre car parks identified in the current Local Plan on a case by case basis following specific public consultation and provided there is evidence of overall spare capacity;

c)      To undertake public consultation on the closure of Northgate Car Park;

d)     To consider any additional city centre car park disposals through the review of the next Local Plan;

e)      That the Off Street Parking Places Order (OSPPO) changes contained in Appendix 7 are taken to public consultation;

f)       That the car park improvements identified in paragraph 2.6 are included in the council’s capital Budget; and

g)      That a decision on whether to provide zero emission buses in the next Park & Ride contract will be made when tenders are evaluated in April 2020.

 

Reason for the decision: The proposals would help to meet the existing objectives of the parking strategy, many of the proposals would have a positive impact of climate change and the additional revenue raised would be used to fund other transport/parking improvements that council may wish to deliver as well helping to close the council’s overall funding gap and maintain essential services.

 

Record of the voting

For the proposal: Councillors Baldock, Cook, Dekker, Edwards, Fitter-Harding, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, Kenny, I Thomas, R Thomas and Todd (11)

Against the proposal:Councillor Dixey (1)

Abstaining from the proposal: Councillor Ricketts (1)

 

Supporting documents: