To consider the results of consultation and the draft Borough-wide parking management plan
The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 49 to 68, which gave an update on the draft Borough-wide Parking Management Action Plan for 2019-2025 and the summary of responses received following consultation amongst Ward Members.
Clare Lawrence (Assistant Director – Place Based Services), Martin Heath (Traffic Management, Parking & Road Safety Team Manager) and Pauline Jorgensen (Executive Member for Highways and Transport) attended the meeting to present the report and answer any Member questions.
The report provided a summary of issues raised by Members following consultation, including issues related to:
- Future and Technology;
- Pricing, Tariffs and Incentives;
- Park and Ride;
- On Street Parking Management;
- Civil Parking Enforcement; Parking meters;
- Parking Meters;
- Off Street Parking Management;
- Planning of New Developments and Appropriate Parking.
The report stated that historically many issues such as antisocial parking behaviour or dissatisfaction with perceived enforcement protocols were managed independently within the Council, however there was now a clear need to address these and other issues more holistically through the introduction of a practical Borough-wide Parking Management Action Plan.
Wokingham was in the process of undergoing a significant road transport transformation, with various regeneration and infrastructure projects in addition to expansive residential community developments taking place across the Borough. This expansion had placed pressure throughout the Borough on existing parking provision and management measures. In order to support the Council’s plans for continued economic growth and sustainability, a progressive programme of parking control measures that would help in supporting the local economy was required. The plan would need to focus on keeping the Borough’s road network, particularly in core areas and close to rail, bus and major road corridors, free from congestion and the detrimental effects of traffic and pollution.
The report outlined that the Borough had seen an increased percentage of car use and ownership, which had increased the demand for on-street parking restrictions both by Members and residents. The absence of a defined and comprehensive parking service plan had contributed to the confusing parking management landscape for the Council’s customers, and this had made a clear case to develop a comprehensive and inclusive Borough-wide Parking Management Action Plan.
During the ensuing discussions Members raised the following points and suggestions:
· How would Town and Parish Councils be consulted and included in the development of the Borough-wide Parking Management Action Plan? Officer and Executive Member response – Town and Parish Councils would be written to directly in order that they may provide a formal response. In addition, the Executive Member for Highways and Transport would make contact and visit the Town and Parish Councils to engage them in the process.
· Would new (and existing) Members be given the opportunity to respond to the consultation? Executive Member response – The consultation would be reopened for Members, allowing a month for responses to be returned. The Chairman agreed to resend his invitation to the consultation to all Members.
· How would the Council ensure that yellow and double yellow lines were fit for purpose, maintained and enforced? Executive Member response – Ward Members were encouraged to make contact with the Highways team to highlight any yellow lines in the Borough that were in need of maintenance, or ones that were regularly being abused.
· What would be done to improve parking provision and travel plan related issues with schools within the Borough? Officer and Executive Member response – Travel plans were not always followed by parents and the key to improving the parking situation at schools was to tie up existing infrastructure with goals for walking or cycling to school. The ‘My Journey’ team now had more resources and could go in to schools to engage with pupils and explain the benefits of walking or cycling to and from school. Civil Parking Enforcement had the resources for extra Enforcement Officers, and the system needed to be balanced with the incentives of walking and cycling to school and complying with parking restriction, and the disincentives of contravening parking restrictions.
· The Council should look to promote low carbon taxis within the Borough.
· Was a permanent space being provided in the Wokingham Town Centre for the use of the specialised disabled friendly bus? Officer and Executive Member response – The operator had been provided with three options within the town centre for them to choose from. The operator had identified one of the options as being their preferred choice and Officers were liaising with them directly.
· Regarding suggestions for a permanent parking enforcement Officer in Earley, had this been considered? Officer and Executive Member response – Earley experienced parking issues at particular peak times of the day, which would make it difficult to position an Officer there permanently. Officers were evaluating a range of other options to aid with parking enforcement within Earley, and it was important that the right solution was found and adopted. Prevention and education were key areas of parking enforcement and management that were to be addressed across the Borough.
1. Clare Lawrence, Martin Heath and Pauline Jorgensen be thanked for attending the meeting and answering Member questions;
2. the Member consultation invitation be resent to all Members, allowing a month to respond;
3. Town and Parish Councils be engaged and consulted with throughout the development of the Borough-wide Parking Management Action Plan;
4. the Committee receive an update on progress relating to the Borough-wide Parking Management Action Plan in due course.