To seek the Committee’s input on the development of the Borough Wide Parking Strategy.
The Committee considered a report, set out at Agenda pages 39 to 44, which gave details of the growing number of parking-related challenges facing the Borough and the proposed development of a Borough-wide Parking Management Plan.
Pauline Jorgensen (Executive Member for Highways and Transport) attended the meeting to answer Member questions along with Clare Lawrence (Assistant Director, Place), Matt Gould (Lead Specialist, Highways and Transport) and Martin Heath (Senior Specialist, Traffic Management).
The challenges facing the Borough included increasing car ownership, increased demand for on-street restrictions, changes to the road network and the introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement. These challenges had resulted in an increasing number of requests and complaints to the Council relating to parking management issues.
The report stated that there existed a requirement and an opportunity to address parking management issues in a more holistic manner through the development of a Borough-wide Parking Management Plan. The Committee was requested to support the development of the plan through “critical friend” challenge and support.
The report outlined a process for developing the Borough-wide plan which would set out the Council’s Vision for parking management in support of the regeneration and economic development of the Borough. Members’ views were sought in relation to:
· On-street parking – including Residents’ Parking, parking standards, disabled parking, footway parking and obstruction and bicycle and motorcycle parking.
· Off-street parking – including charges, permits and concessions, technology and systems, disabled parking, and bicycle/motorcycle provision.
· Parking enforcement issues – including enforcement protocols; penalty charges; enforcement activity and approaches to obstruction and anti-social parking.
The report stated that Members’ comments would be sought until mid-April 2019. Officers would then use the feedback received to inform the drafting of the new plan which would be considered by the Committee later in the year.
During the ensuing discussion Members raised the following points and suggestions:
· Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) – could more resources be deployed across the Borough to tackle issues such as parking outside schools? Could there be greater transparency about the frequency of visits to different wards? Members requested further information on the CPE service in order to understand the financial impacts relating to service changes such as additional enforcement activity. There needed to be a balance between income generation and tackling local issues of concern (which did not generate income).
· Members noted the high level of enforcement activity at Dinton Pastures and California Country Parks. Was all the penalty notice income from Dinton Pastures and California Country Park returned to the Countryside Service?
· On Street Parking – could more Residents’ Parking Permit schemes be introduced for “hotspot” areas of the Borough. The potential for Visitor and Trader parking within Resident Parking areas should also be investigated.
· The Council should adopt a more “joined up” approach to parking issues, for example in relation to the design and delivery of new school sites – involving planning and education policies.
· It would be key to understand the latest updated estimates of supply and demand for parking space across the Borough in order to make informed decisions about future provision, charging, etc.
· It would also be useful to understand the implications of policies implemented by neighbouring authorities and other transport providers – rail, bus, etc.
· The Committee was already looking at the Business Case for the proposed Coppid Beech Park and Ride site. What was the strategy for future Park and Ride provision?
· The Council should seek to learn from best/innovative practices in other areas, such as the approach taken in Marlow.
· Could town centre parking be incentivised through links to discounts in shops, cafes, restaurants and leisure facilities?
· Could the new plan be linked to a review of the Borough Design Guide – to review the provision of parking spaces for new housing developments?
· What were the plans for upgrading parking ticket machines and meters and enhancing digital options?
· What were the future plans for electric charging facilities across the Borough?
· What was the process for ensuring compliance with the Council’s Equality duties, for example in relation to the provision of disabled parking spaces?
1) Pauline Jorgensen, Clare Lawrence, Matt Gould and Martin Heath be thanked for attending the meeting to discuss the development of the new Parking Management Plan;
2) the Chairman write to all Members seeking feedback and suggestions relating to local parking issues and priorities, the feedback to be submitted by 14 April 2019;
3) Officers use the Member feedback to inform and scope the new Parking Management Plan;
4) the Committee receive a further update report once the scoping exercise is completed;
5) the Committee scrutinise the draft Parking Management Plan before its submission to the Executive.