The first detailed policy review in 10 years of public car parks across the Derbyshire Dales begins soon.
And Derbyshire Dales District Council – which operates 33 pay and display car parks throughout the Dales – will be inviting local people and traders to give their views on the way ahead.
The first opportunity will be at the District Council’s latest series of Area Community Forums in February, at Shirley Community Space (St Michael’s Church) on Monday 4th, Wirksworth Memorial Hall on Monday 11th and Bakewell Agricultural Business Centre on Monday 18th. All start at 7pm.
A formal consultation programme will follow in March and April, including focus groups with traders, residents, disabled users, town and parish councils and tourism and stakeholder organisations.
Feedback will also be available by post and online.
Every household in the Derbyshire Dales currently receives a free car park permit enabling them all to park free of charge at every District Council car park before 11am and after 4pm every day of the week. For the past five years the District Council has also made parking free after 2pm for everyone throughout December to encourage people to shop locally.
Car parking income currently plays a huge part in meeting the cost of services for the 6.9 million visitors to the Derbyshire Dales every year. Without car parking income from paying visitors, Council Tax payers across the Dales would face a rise of over 35% to replace lost income.
The District Council’s car parking review sub-committee will discuss new ideas at a meeting on Tuesday this evening (29 January, 6pm). Following
consultation, the target for putting together final recommendations is the end of June this year, with adoption of a new parking policy by the autumn.
Possible policy changes that will be discussed in the public consultation could include:
* Introduction of a short stay tariff (up to 30 minutes) on some town centres car parks
* Reduced tariff for evening parking to encourage the night-time economy in town centres
* New charges for coaches, motor homes and motor cycles
* How future inflation should be addressed
* Comparison of Derbyshire Dales charges with districts that have a similar visitor profile
* Review of the residents’ parking permit scheme
* Investment is new car parking machines and alternative payment methods,
* Investment is new car parking machines and alternative payment methods, including credit card, SMS, smartphone and pay-on-exit
* Improving directional signage to car parks
Leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council, Councillor Lewis Rose OBE said: “A review of our car parking policy is long overdue and we look forward to the public’s feedback on the innovations they would like to see happen.What has to be borne in mind by Council Tax payers however is the massive contribution parking income makes currently to the first class services we are able to provide here in the Derbyshire Dales.So while we are conscious of our traders’ desire, for example, to make town centres parking as attractive as possible, we cannot simply ask Council Tax payers to pick up the whole cost of paying for services for the millions of visitors to the Dales. What we can do however, is be more flexible in our approach. We know from our regular citizens’ panel surveys that the overall satisfaction level with our car parks is high and that over 70% of residents use their free permits to park free at least once a week.
Just over a year ago we also considered a report on an assessment of independent retailers in Ashbourne, Bakewell, Matlock and Wirksworth, and the actions from those findings feed into this review, including the potential to provide additional town centre car parking spaces, to review signage and look again at the pricing structure for car parks.”
The review is only of public car parks operated by Derbyshire Dales District Council. Derbyshire County Council and the Peak District National Park Authority also operate public car parks in the Derbyshire Dales.
For more information, please contact: Jim Fearn on 01629 761195 / 0780 4019123 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org