Revised proposals for the future of council car parks in Monmouthshire are to be presented to the council’s Economy and Development Committee on 14th July.
The proposals and the accompanying report can be read here. The proposals include the introduction of free parking after 4pm in Abergavenny, free parking options for Chepstow and greater flexibility in payment methods – as well as the introduction of short and long stay parking rates.
The Economy and Development Select committee debated a report on the future management of car parking provided by Monmouthshire County Council in February. Although members supported some of the proposals, they decided to ask area committees and other groups for further feedback. This work has been done and, subject to any further revisions and recommendations that the select committee members may wish to make, the proposals will then move on to Cabinet for final consideration and decision.
Cllr Phyl Hobson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for car parks, said:
“These are increasingly difficult financial times, so the new proposals seek to support retail and commerce in the towns. This includes the removal of parking charges after 4pm in Abergavenny, options for free parking in Chepstow, additional parking and some short term free parking spaces in Monmouth, new machines that offer greater flexibility in how we pay (cash, cards, phone) and ‘saving deals’ when buying for a week, month etc. We also do not propose to introduce charges to towns and villages where parking is presently free of charge. To fund the incentives and increased investment, the charge for two hours parking would rise to £2 – the first rise in seven years.”
“We also propose to reform the charges for short stay and all-day parking, and would designate some car parks short-stay and some all-day, with some at just £1 a day to help free up spaces nearer town centres for shoppers.”
Cllr Hobson continued:
“But it is with a heavy heart that charging Blue Badge holders is also being proposed. This has become more common place and we are also proposing to provide extra time for blue badge holders so, for example, payment for a two hour ticket will actually offer the blue badge holder three hours parking. There are 30 recommendations in total so these are just the ‘headlines’. We recognise that car parking is an emotive subject and we cannot satisfy all demands. But we have listened to feedback and have tried to restructure the service to meet needs in individual towns rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.