Car park charges are set to increase in Flintshire as the council looks to generate more income through its Pay and Display machines.
Parking charges in the county have not been reviewed since their introduction in April 2015 and the income generated does not meet the full cost of managing and operating the car parks the council says.
A report which will be discussed by the council’s Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee next week will look at two options which, in many cases will see an increase in how much motorists are charged.
[miptheme_quote author=”Councillor Carolyn Thomas” style=”text-left”]We are living in difficult times and raising charges in the car parks is always going to be a contentious issue.
However, this is one of the solutions to help balance our annual budget and income levels need to be raised across all services. [/miptheme_quote]
The report says: ‘Raising charges in the car parks is contentious. However, as one of the corporate solutions to balancing the annual budget, income levels need to be raised across services.
The council says their research shows that charges introduced in the county ‘have not impacted on car parking usage, in fact the levels of use have actually increased in six towns over the past two years’
The exception is Connah’s Quay where the availability of extensive off-street parking has seen the car park take less than half of what the council expected however, income increased by over 197% in the first year of pay and display charges.
Car Parking Income Summary
‘Residents Only’ parking schemes are also being considered in two areas of the County, where displaced parking is occurring as a result of the unavailability of car parking in the town centre which is creating issues for local residents.
The report goes on to say; ‘Every opportunity to offer some free on-street parking, close to the town centre has been examined and the Council is currently consulting with two Town Councils about the potential to remove existing pedestrianisation orders, which will allow vehicles back into the High Streets – where free short stay car parking could then be made available.’
‘Residents Only’ parking schemes are also being considered in two areas of the County, where displaced parking is occurring as a result of the unavailability of car parking in the town centre which is creating issues for local residents.’
‘Staff from the Streetscene and Transportation service will continue to monitor the impact of car parking charges on the local road network adjacent to the Council’s car parks and action will be taken to provide further parking controls in any areas where displacement causes parking problems for residents.’
Councillors will be asked to agree on one of two revised pricing options when they meet next week, both options will see the removal of the two hours for 20p charge in Deeside car parks could increase by as much as 150% to 50p for two hours.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Transportation, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:
“All Councils are in a similar position [cash strapped] and from comparative research Flintshire has scope to increase its total income. The proposed increases are reasonable and would still be low when compared to other Welsh counties.
Research shows that charges have not impacted on car parking usage, in fact the levels of use have actually increased in six towns over the past two years.
The total cost of delivering and managing the car parking service is £886,000 a year and this would be recovered by the proposed charges. This would result in the car parking service being cost neutral and achieving full cost recovery.”
The new charging arrangements will be advertised in each car park during February and March 2018 and will come into effect from 1 st April 2018.