Cotswold District Council to introduce cheaper car park charges from spring
REDUCED parking charges will come into force across the Cotswolds from this spring.
While the changes are set to come in from April Fool’s Day, the pledge made by Cotswold District Council’s cabinet members yesterday was no joke.
Members voted unanimously in favour of a number of measures to make off-street parking more affordable and user friendly, including a 50p half-hour charge in all council car parks.
An all day charge of £2 at Cirencester’s Beeches car park, reduced from £3.40, and a heavily discounted five-hour permit for all long-stay council car parks has been agreed to encourage workers into car parks and off congested residential streets.
Cabinet member for environment, Cllr David Fowles, said: “It’s clear that the pressure on-street is causing significant problems for residents in Cirencester and in Tetbury because of spaces on their streets being taken up by commuters and shoppers.
"I believe that this will encourage more people to use off-street car parks, particularly in Cirencester."
At Moreton-in-Marsh’s Old Market Way car park, one and two-hour charges will be almost halved to match those in Tetbury, where half, one, two and three-hour tariffs will be introduced in both West Street and Old Brewery Lane car parks.
Cllr Barry Gibbs (Tetbury) said the changes would be greatly welcomed in Tetbury and he said he hoped a coordinated approach would also be adopted in other car parks in the town, not owned by the council.
Some of the reductions proposed by Cllr Fowles are actually estimated to generate more income for the council, which made more than £2.26million in the financial year 2010/2011 from parking charges across the district.
According to a recent report by the multi-authority group Cirencester Parking Partnership, off-street car parks are “less than half full” over the whole town.
The Beeches car park, which has 125 spaces, is currently used less at just 40 per cent capacity. But the council is hopeful that with the new charges this will rise to 90 per cent and increase income from £69,540 to £81,120, despite the drop in fee.
Improved signage to the Beeches and Waterloo car parks, along with a spruce-up of the design and layout of the council’s neglected sites, is also expected to increase usage.
For more on parking, see next week's Standard.