News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Flintshire Council facing £240,000 parking income shortfall after introduction of controversial changes

Flintshire Council is facing £240,000 shortfall in parking income following the introduction of a controversial set of price hikes.

A number of increases were introduced at car parks in the county after being approved in May.

The move was met with opposition from shoppers and traders, particularly in Mold, where there were concerns about how it would impact visitor numbers.

Following the feedback, costs at all short stay car parks in the town were changed to £1 for three hours instead of two.

However, a report due to be considered by politicians next week shows the authority is expected to generate £731,566 for 2018/19 instead of the £972,806 anticipated.

Cllr Carolyn Thomas, cabinet member for streetscene and countryside, said there had been a small decrease in the number of people paying for parking, but blamed the shortfall on delays in introducing the new tariffs.

She said: “Delays in the implementation the new car parking tariffs in 2018/19 has resulted in a pressure of £80,000.

“The budget was based on a full year assumption with the new charges being introduced in April 2018, with the delay being as a result of the extended political approval process.

“When reviewing monthly ticket sales year on year across the county, a small reduction since the beginning of the calendar year can be identified.

“However there has been no further significant decrease in tickets purchased since the new charges were induced in May 2018.”

Flintshire’s cabinet requested a review of the new parking charges after six months and a number of changes are now being proposed.

They include introducing pay and display parking on the third tier of the car park at County Hall in Mold.

Meanwhile, charges at the Alexander Street car park in Shotton will increase to £2 all day.

There will also be a trial to allow people to make payments using both chip and pin and contactless bank cards, as well as by phone at a number of car parks in the area.

Cllr Thomas said: “All suggestions and amendments have been considered against the council’s car parking strategy which was approved to manage the car parks and ensure car parking spaces are available for shoppers and visitors to our town centres.

“The charges were introduced to help towards cost recovery of the maintenance and running of the car parks.

“There are several amendments which are proposed which, while some will increase income to ensure the car parks are maintained in an acceptable condition, they will also offer more spaces and flexibility.”

The proposals will be considered by scrutiny committee members next Tuesday.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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