Car parking update

13th July, 2011

Following last weeks meeting and the promise of looking into a period of free parking during School Holidays I received a reply yesterday quoting the following:-

I have received a reply about the possibility of allowing one hour free parking in the EDC car parks during the school holidays. She makes the following points why we cannot proceed with this initiative.

  1. A timed limited offer of free parking in the pay and display car parks would cause considerable confusion for the rest of the year and ill feelings when PCNs were issued where people misunderstood whether or not they had to pay on a particular day- not all schools have the same holidays for example, or stayed over the hour.
  2. Would lead to drivers parking for one hour in one car park and driving around for a second free hour causing traffic congestion and pollution.
  3. We have done some rough estimates and it would result in lost income of between £20-25,000.
  4. If we could surmount those difficulties the last one kills the idea completely- at the moment we do not have a one hour charging band on most car parks so there is no mechanism to enable the first hour to be free. If we wanted to introduce one we would need to advertise and amend the parking order which takes 3-4 months.

Following receipt of this e.mail I replied:-

Thank you for the information.  I cannot however accept the lack of movement of certain officers in trying to help the town get back on it's feet following the disruption caused by all the work being done on Booths and Sainsburys including Kemplay Roundabout.

In response to point 1 and point 4.

If the Council had responded quickly (or at all) to the parking survey commissioned at a cost of £20,000 then ,as regularly requested by us, we would have a 1 hour Parking Band in place and therefore making a token gesture would not prove so difficult.

I fail to see how confusion would reign ..all it would take are signs on the pay and display machines and a method of indicating arrival time eg disc.
People parking for 1 hour and then trying to find another parking space for a further hour is better than them not coming into Penrith at all or purely Parking in a supermarket and driving back out without visiting the town itself.

I wish to point out my total frustration in trying to get recommendations made to the council by the parking survey, implemented.  If  there were no plans to accept the recommendations then why spend £20,000 having a survey, funnily enough about the same amount as it would cost for 1 hours free parking over the summer holidays.
I do not accept that in the 7 months since the survey was reported on, nothing has been implemented and I will continue to express my disappointment at this lack of action.

Hot off the press!!

Today I have had a meeting with EDC Officers and they have agreed to implement 1day per week free parking in Penrith during August....
"We have to agree on a day and it won't be a Saturday but I favour Friday..Comments Please.!!!"
Also the implementation of a 1 hour parking period in Car Parks will take place at a probable cost of £1.

I would like to thank you for attending last weeks meeting and making people think!!

Kelvin

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