Shrewsbury BID has today published its response to the Shropshire Council car parking strategy following its largest response from members.

There is deep concern amongst the business community about the economic impact the strategy would have on the economic vitality of the town.

Shrewsbury BID have worked in partnership with Car Parking specialists AECOM to provide a qualitative review of the Shropshire Draft Parking Strategy to consider the potential effects of the proposals on Shrewsbury Town Centre.

Download the full consultation response here.

On Linear Pricing

The combination of a linear pricing structure with no cap on tariffs will lead to users being penalised for staying at the car park for longer periods.  It is a key objective of the parking strategy to contribute to economic growth through encouraging longer dwell times for visitors in Shrewsbury, which is supported by the BID. This proposal contradicts this objective.

Competitor Analysis

In comparison to Telford, which is a primary competitor to Shrewsbury and not affected by the Parking Strategy, the linear policy does not perform well. Telford offers £3/£4 daily parking in the Town Centre, compared to a minimum £5 or a maximum £25 in Shrewsbury.

Removal of £1 Sunday Car Parking

The proposals will supersede the existing £1 Sunday daily parking charge which was successfully negotiated and promoted by the BID. Having been introduced in June 2015, the £1 Sunday offer is starting to have a positive effect on Sunday trade and footfall. However we are still way behind other destinations and removing the £1 Sunday offer will negate any progress made – particularly given the lack of a Sunday park and ride service. Adopting the standard linear pricing structure on Sundays will lead to a large proportion of Sunday visitors going elsewhere or not travelling at all.

 

“The proposals are at odds with the objectives of the strategy and in particular to ‘contribute to economic growth’.  The strategy appears to have has been designed with the objective of generating additional revenue with little care for the wider economic impact on the town.  Given some of the proposed pricing increases, we believe it is highly unlikely that the strategy would lead to increased revenues due to a decrease in usage.”

Kevin Lockwood Chair of BID Access and Car Parking Group and Centre Manager for Shrewsbury Shopping Centres.

 

“As a small independent business we have seen constant rising costs at The Cave to the point of near closure.  We strongly believe that the proposed car parking charges will deter visitors to the town centre – especially on Sundays. We need to encourage people into town and this will only force people to out of town shopping centres.”

Vicki Heath, Owner of The Cave

 

Shrewsbury BID has met with senior Shropshire Council Officers and Members outlining its concerns about the proposals and are in early discussions about a possible way forward.

Shrewsbury BID is encouraging everyone to respond to the consultation before the deadline of 17th October.