Parking charges to remain frozen
Increasing charges in Malvern Hills District Council’s car parks has been ruled out as part of a series of measures to support the local economy.
A group of councillors and officers have been reviewing the way car parking operates across the district to ensure it meets the priorities set out in the council’s new Car Parking Strategy.
These include improving the availability of safe, good quality car parking, improving traffic flow, supporting towns and businesses and ensuring a fair return for Council Taxpayers.
The group found there was no case for increasing charges at the current time, meaning visitors to and residents living in Malvern Hills District will continue to pay the lowest parking prices in Worcestershire.
A series of recommended changes have been made that will now be put out to a 12 week public consultation, following approval by the council’s Executive Committee on 20 June 2017.
These include making the Council House car park in Avenue Road a 24 hour pay and display car park, which would increase the number of spaces available in the town centre area. It is also proposed the £1.50 evening charge should begin two hours earlier starting at 4pm and running until 8am the next morning, rather than the current 6pm to midnight, to help support the night-time economy.
New Street Car Park in Upton Upton Severn is in line to become a short stay car park, while the one hour charge in all long stay car parks will be removed. Public parking will no longer be allowed at Brunel House Car Park and charges may be introduced at Malvern Vale Community Centre Car Park to stop unauthorised use.
The group has also recommended lobbying Worcestershire County Council for improvements to disabled and coach parking and on-street parking regulations in Great Malvern to make them easier to understand.
If approved, it is hoped the changes will help generate an extra £70,000 a year for the council to support efforts to fill a £1.45million gap in its budget by 2021/2022 as a result of government funding cuts.
The findings of the public consultation will be reported back to the Executive Committee at a later date for a final decision.
Cllr Bronwen Behan, portfolio holder for environment on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “I’m delighted we are able to keep parking charges on hold. At the same time we are putting forward a series of measures that will provide further support to our towns and businesses, while allowing us to protect front line council services.
“I’d urge people to get involved in the consultation and let us know their views.”
The consultation runs until 5pm on Monday, 11 September 2017. People can have their say by visiting www.malvernhills.gov.uk/en/public-notices-consultations and following the instructions. Or comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Parking Order’ in the subject heading.