The purpose of this report is to review the current parking-charging regime following the strategic review of car parking carried out in 2019/20 and make recommendations for the future charging strategy.
2.1 That the Executive note the report and.
I. Recommend the proposed strategic tariff structure set out in Annexe C to the Council.
II. Recommend the proposed 50% discount in pay and display charges to incentivise the move to ultra-low and zero emission vehicles in 6.4 below.
III. Acknowledge the need to review the tariff structure on an annual basis to assess.
a. general patterns of use across car parks to assess whether the charging strategy has achieved its desired objectives and whether the tariff structures need to be modified
b. patterns of use in the Brightwell’s Yard car park and any changes required to charging regimes, (e.g., Evening and Sunday charges?)
c. the uptake of discounted charges for Ultra Low Emission (ULEV) and Zero Emission (ZEV) vehicles, its impact on income levels and whether the level of discount needs to change.
Councillor Nick Palmer, Portfolio Holder for Operational and Enforcement Services introduced the report which set out a review of the current parking-charging regime following the strategic review of car parking carried out in 2019/20 and recommendations for the future charging strategy. He proposed the following minor amendments:
· That the 3 hour charge on Saturdays in Weydown Road be £3.20 and not £6.00 in order to offer a cheaper alternative to the station car park, as set out in Annexe C.
· To defer the proposed changes to the Station Lane Milford car park pending further discussion with ward and parish councillors and community representatives, in recognition of concerns raised by Milford Councillors.
· That the discount for electric vehicles be 50% and the discount for hybrid vehicles be 25%, to address the comments raised by the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee that electric and hybrid vehicles should not be treated the same due to hybrid vehicles use of fuel.
Councillor Palmer addressed some of the consultation responses received which had not been raised at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and advised that the registration process for RingGo was simple and required no extra effort on the part of users. There had been a misunderstanding that there was a minimum charge of 50p for RingGo, however this was not the case. There was a flat flee of 10p and optional text message notifications which cost 20p each. He corrected the statement he had made at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and clarified that RingGo was in fact available at all car parks. 31 of the 78 car parks also had the facility to swipe a debit or credit card and this option would be added as machines were scheduled for refurbishment.
The discounts proposed for electric and hybrid vehicles were not proposed to be permanent as at some point all cars would be electric and a discount would no longer be appropriate. However it was intended to be an incentive to move towards climate friendly vehicles sooner rather than later. It was also not considered to be appropriate for the Council to offer free electric vehicle charging points. Appropriate signage would be installed for users of electric vehicles regarding the charges. A question had been raised over whether the Council should be subsidising those who are able to afford expensive electric vehicles, however it was felt that this was an opportunity to take action to reduce the climate emergency, particularly as the Government had determined that no new fossil fuel cars would be sold after 2030.
Councillor Ward spoke on the item and asked whether reductions in payments for key workers would be considered. In response, Councillor Palmer advised that this would be considered in more detail and come back to the Executive for consideration at a later stage as appropriate, in recognition of the role key workers play and their ability to pay parking charges in some locations.
The Leader thanked Councillors Gale and Baker for raising the issues in Milford, ... view the full minutes text for item 27