Shropshire Council has released a new Draft Car Parking Strategy which is out for public consultation.

The proposals includes the introduction of linear pricing, the removal of £1 Sunday Car Parking, the removal of long-stay and short-stay car parks and banding of car parks.

Shrewsbury BID has already placed on record its concern at the impact of some of the proposals would have on businesses in Shrewsbury Town Centre, and has commissioned independent car parking experts to undertake further analysis.

Shrewsbury BID will submit a full response on behalf of the BID community, but it is really important that as many businesses as possible respond directly to the consultation.

We have produced a guide below of the proposals and following consultation with our members, with suggested responses and comments on the proposals.

Please take part in the consultation today.

Click here to complete the Consulation

Businesses indicated to us that section 1 is by far the most relevant to them, therefore we’ll be focusing on this section in this guide.

Proposal 1 – The introduction of a set price per hour (known as ‘linear’ pricing)

At the moment, charges per length of stay vary from car park to car park and from town to town. Shropshire Council is proposing an hourly charge, which will be the same 7-days a week, that they believe will make it easier for customers to choose how long to park for.

The proposed pricing bands are as follows:

  • Band 1 – £2.50
  • Band 2 – £2.00
  • Band 3 – £1.00
  • Band 4 – £0.70
  • Band 5 – £0.50
  • Band 6 – £0.30
  • Band 7 – Free

From our member survey, although businesses were neutral about the linear pricing concept, they were strongly opposed to 7-day charging (removal of £1 Sunday) and the proposed band prices. 73% of businesses surveyed were also in favour of a cap on charging, for example after 6 hours or before a certain time.

Suggested response:

Do you agree with this proposal? No

If not, do you have an alternative suggestion?

We oppose 7-day charging, parking should remain £1 on a Sunday in Shrewsbury

The banding prices in Shrewsbury are too high, there should be a cap for coming before 10am and if visitors are staying for longer than 6 hours.

 

Proposal 2 – A standard countywide car parking banding/ranking system

Shropshire Council are proposing to introduce seven new pricing bands. Each car park and on-street pay and display area will be placed into one of these bands, depending on its location, capacity, and the likelihood of finding a parking space.

They hope that this will help to standardise and simplify the parking charges structure to ensure that there is consistency across the county and to make it easier for people to understand.

The proposed car parks in each band are as follows:

Band 1 – £2.50

  • On-street

Band 2 – £2.00

  • Bridge Street
  • St Austin’s
  • Quarry Swimming & Fitness Centre
  • Raven Meadows
  • St Julian’s Friars

Band 3 – £1.00

Band 4 – £0.70

  • Frankwell Main, Riverside & Quay

Band 5 – £0.50

  • Abbey Foregate

Band 6 – £0.30

Band 7 – Free

Although we are focusing on Shrewsbury, the full bands can be viewed here.

Shropshire Council has recommended that all car parks within the Shrewsbury river loop should be a minimum of band 2 to reduce pollution and traffic, this includes Raven Meadows and St Julian’s Friars.

From our survey, 73% of businesses disagree with these proposals. Many businesses felt that Frankwell should be band 5 and that St Julian’s should be band 3 or 4. We also believe that Raven Meadows should be a lower band as it is Shrewsbury’s largest car park. Visitors should not be discouraged from using car parks within the river loop because of pollution, instead, alternative green solutions should be explored, such as electric charging points and public transport.

Suggested response:

Do you agree with this proposal? No

If not, do you have an alternative suggestion?

St Julian Friar’s and Raven Meadows should be band 4

Frankwell should be band 5

Do you have any other comments regarding this proposal?

Banding car parks within the Shrewsbury river loop at band 2 to reduce pollution and congestion is a not suitable solution. If Shropshire Council wants to reduce congestion and pollution, investment should be made for public transport and electric vehicles, the current plan is discouraging vehicles from visiting Shrewsbury town centre.

 

Proposal 3 – Parking tickets for unrestricted periods

Shropshire Council are proposing to end the current system of long-stay and short-stay parking by introducing parking tickets that allow visitors to park without a maximum stay limit in their car parks and on-street pay and display areas.

The banding reviewed in the previous question will allow visitors to park in their preferred location, as long as they are willing to pay the appropriate charge.

Suggested response:

Do you agree with this proposal? Yes

If not, do you have an alternative suggestion?

Do you have any other comments regarding this proposal?

Caps for parking periods need to be part of the proposal.

 

Proposal 4 – Introduce linear (set price per hour) charges between 9am and 8pm

This proposal includes changing the charging hours of car parks across the county from 8am-6pm to 9am-8pm. Shropshire Council believes that this will reduce the congestion created by the evening economy.

Respondents to our survey strongly disagreed with this suggestion, we also believe that these suggestions are not proportionate to the amount of traffic brought to the town by the evening economy.

Suggested response:

Do you agree with this proposal? No

If not, do you have an alternative suggestion?

Charging hours should remain as they are, the evening economy in Shrewsbury does not cause the congestion highlighted in the Shropshire Council reasoning for this increase.

Do you have any other comments regarding this proposal?

81% of businesses in Shrewsbury feel very strongly that this would not positively benefit the town. Extending the charging hours to 8pm moves Shropshire in the opposite direction of the nearby towns and cities of Chester and Wrexham, which has reduced their charging hours to encourage visitors.

 

Proposal 5 – Extension of on-street loading/taxi bay provision evenings/ early a.m

Loading bays can be used at various times depending on their location. Outside of these times, the bays can generally be used for parking.

Shropshire Council is proposing that the loading bay times should be extended in line with the evening parking charge proposals outlined in section 1, proposal 4.

They are also proposing that loading bays within the Shrewsbury river loop are used as taxi bays between 8pm and 7.30am.

Businesses that responded to our survey were neutral about the impact of these changes. However, mention should again be made against the change in charging hours.

Suggested response:

Do you agree with this proposal? Yes

If not, do you have an alternative suggestion?

Do you have any other comments regarding this proposal?

Although we agree with the proposal, we strongly disagree with the proposal to extend the charging hours to 8pm.

 

Proposal 6 – Removal of the 15-minute ‘pop and shop’ period

Shropshire Council are planning to end the ‘pop and shop’ period that allows visitors to park for free in pay and display parking areas for 15 minutes.

They have highlighted that if you include the ten minutes ‘observation period’ before a ticket can be issued, people can currently park for free for up to 25 minutes.

Shropshire Council believes that removing the 15-minute ‘pop and shop’ will encourage people to spend more time in the town. People who do need to stop briefly will still have ten minutes for free.

Businesses surveyed did not agree with the removal of the 15-minute ‘pop and shop’ period.

Suggested response:

Do you agree with this proposal? No

If not, do you have an alternative suggestion?

The current 15-minute ‘pop and shop’ period should remain

Do you have any other comments regarding this proposal?

 

Proposal 7 – Extend Raven Meadows multi-storey car park opening hours in Shrewsbury

Shropshire Council are proposing that Raven Meadows car park should be open 24-hours to provide safe and secure car parking for the evening economy, overnight visitors and rail-users This is being made possible because of the new pay-on-exit system that was installed in 2016.

Businesses surveyed were in favour of this proposal. However, we believe that improvements needs to be made into the car park to make it attractive to visitors.

Suggested response:

Do you agree with this proposal? Yes

If not, do you have an alternative suggestion?

Do you have any other comments regarding this proposal?

This is a good proposal and will help over-night visitors to Shrewsbury. However, investment needs to be made to the car park as it is currently not safe and secure.

 

If you have any questions about this guide, please contact members@shrewsburybid.co.uk