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Stroud district car parking review FAQs

Parking in the proposed locations is well used and occupancy levels are high. This leads to difficulties finding a space, which we know from wider research, adversely impacts visitor behaviour. The majority of car parks in these areas are operating above the recognised national operational capacity. In simple terms people find it difficult to find a space. As such an increase in parking regulation is required. Charges will increase turnover, making more spaces available for shoppers and visitors throughout the day. Visitors will be able to visit these towns with greater certainty that spaces will be available on their arrival.

The increased revenue will be used, as it is now, to maintain the car parks and continue to carry out services such as street cleaning.

No, we don’t think it will. The charges we are proposing are modest, certainly compared to other local centres. Moreover, we expect more visits to the centres on foot, or by bicycle, as those that routinely drive, even very short distances, refine the way they visit. To accommodate this we will improve the provision of cycle facilities.

 

The charges being proposed are modest, certainly in comparison to local centres in Gloucestershire and beyond. Although we appreciate no one likes paying to park, when you factor in the fuel costs and additional time required to visit retail parks it doesn’t make economic or practical sense to ignore your local town. That said, we do expect a shift in car visits, with more people encouraged to visit on foot and bicycle. This has positive implications for air quality.

Almost certainly not. We’ve taken advice from industry experts who conclude that the location and ease of access is more important to visitors than the actual charge. If visitors can’t find a parking space, they are far less likely to make repeat visits, than if they know they can access parking quickly and easily.

Charges continue to compare very favourably with other local authorities, including those in Gloucestershire.

Parking in these locations have been monitored and identified as operating close or above industry defined occupancy limits. This impacts users behaviour and discourages visits to these locations. Therefore, to ensure that the situation doesn’t get any worse we are seeking to act now. Introducing charges will increase the turnover of spaces, allowing visitors to plan journeys with certainty. Parking in other locations is, on a whole, freely accessible and therefore there is no need to further regulate the parking restrictions at this time. Obviously this could change in the future.

Subject to Committee agreement, charges will be introduced in January 2019.

Yes, notices will be placed in local newspapers and in the car parks concerned.

Free parking for blue badge holders is available, on the same basis as the current arrangements. Full details can be found in each car park.

Yes. We are proposing that short stay car parks change from a 2hr maximum stay to a 3hr maximum stay. We are also proposing to change the times from 8am - 6pm to 8am – 5pm and change the long stay car parks near to train stations from a maximum 23hr stay to 72hrs.

We are proposing to improve access signage (making it clearer to visitors where they can park), trial our first electric vehicle charging point and improve provision for cyclists/motorcyclists. This is in addition to routine maintenance improvements such as relining. In due course we will be introducing contactless to our existing pay and display machines.

On the whole revenue from car parking is reinvested into the car parks and is used to fund the service.

Yes. Almost certainly more people will be encouraged to walk, cycle and use public transport. Not only has this got environmental benefit, it’s also beneficial for people’s health. It will also create a churn of movement.

No, pay and display machines do not give change. Users should tender the correct fee. Alternatively, users will be able to use contactless or our Pay by Phone, Mipermit, system is available. This allows you to pay for parking via a credit/debit card. Details of how to use this service are on each payment machine.

This was a consideration, but on balance and in light of the lack of evidence to suggest free parking periods are of benefit, we believe the modest charges particularly those for up to 3 hours will not deter visitors.

Yes, we are proposing to introduce ‘free after 3pm’ in selected car parks within towns across the district.

Yes, customers are also able to park for free after 5pm in the majority of our car parks.

We are committed to reviewing the charges annually going forward.

Yes, we are proposing to introduce permits in long stay car parks. All permits/season tickets should be purchased through MiPermit: https://secure.mipermit.com/stroud/application/home.aspx

Those that purchase permits usually park for the whole day. By allowing permits in short stay car parks we would be allowing users to overstay the restricted maximum time and not generating a turnover of visitors.

Shop workers are able to purchase a permit which works out to be cheaper than buying daily tickets.

We always aim to enforce the parking restrictions in a fair and reasonable way. However, we do expect people to pay the appropriate charge. The contactless and pay by phone option is available if you get caught short of change. As ever, if you do receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) that you feel isn’t justified, we will consider your appeal. All appeals need to be in writing and instructions are on all PCNs.

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