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Agenda Item No.

 

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT): 1 SEPTEMBER 2015

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 27 JULY 2015

 

C2879         CAR PARK CHARGING PROPOSALS - PHASE 1 (VLS) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Cabinet was informed of the results of 'off-street'/'on-street' parking studies undertaken in the town centres of Barry and Cowbridge and agreement was sought for the preferred options for charging for parking at these locations for 2015 / 2016. Agreement was also sought for changes to certain existing car park charges and Civil Parking Enforcement arrangements. Cabinet was also informed of further potential options for increased revenue from car parking throughout the Vale of Glamorgan area.

 

The Cabinet Report of 25 February, 2013 entitled 'Final Revenue Budget Proposals 2013/14 and Financial Strategy to 2016/17' indicated a number of proposed savings which included:

 

  • V1 Car Parking Full - roll out of town centre car parking charges £340k saving for 2013/14.
  • V7 On Street Parking Meters - new initiative to charge for on street parking at several locations. £100k for 2014/15. This was, however, subsequently replaced by a different saving proposal.

 

The implementation of the proposed savings in relation to town centre car parking charges had not yet been made resulting in a shortfall in car park income of some £350k for financial year 2014/15. It was essential that the implementation of town centre car parking charges was addressed to ensure that the proposed savings were realised and identified budget targets were met as soon as possible. This was particularly critical given the increasing financial challenges facing the Council over the next three years over which it was estimated that the Council would need to find savings of some £25 million.

 

The Council charged for parking at a number of its coastal car parks but did not charge at its town centre facilities, nor did the Council charge for on-street parking within town centres.

 

Consultant Capita was commissioned in July 2013 to undertake a study into Off Street / On Street parking. This study included car parking in Barry and Cowbridge town centres with a view to the Council possibly introducing car park charging at these locations at a future date.  Penarth Town Centre was excluded from the study as there was no off-street car park provision within the town centre.  Information from previous studies was made available where appropriate so that comparisons could be made. The commission resulted in the completion of a report entitled 'Off-Street / On-Street Car Parking Study within the Vale of Glamorgan' dated December 2013 (the study was available to view on the Council’s website at the following link: http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/_Committee%20Reports/Cabinet/2015/15-07-27/Car-Park-Charging-Proposals---Phase-1---Appendix-A.pdf and was available in the Members Room).

 

An Addendum Report to the original 'Off-Street / On-Street Car Parking Study’ had been completed by Consultants, Capita in June 2015 in order to review and update the 2013 Report (the study was available to view on the Council’s website at the following link: http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/Documents/_Committee%20Reports/Cabinet/2015/15-07-27/Car-Park-Charging-Proposals---Phase-1---Appendix-B.pdf and was available in the Members Room). The Addendum Report also incorporated a Price Sensitivity Review for the introduction of parking charges within Barry and Cowbridge town centres.

 

The Capita report entitled 'Off-Street/On-Street Car Parking Study within the Vale of Glamorgan' dated December 2013 covered the following topics, which were detailed in the report: 

  • Barry Town Centre
  • Barry Charging Options
  • Cowbridge Town Centre
  • Cowbridge Conclusions
  • Car Park Charging Methods
  • Car Park Charging Examples and Comparisons
  • Car Sharing and Park and Ride

 

The report entitled 'Off-Street / On-Street Car Parking Study within the Vale of Glamorgan: December 2013: Addendum Report' dated June 2015 covered the following topics, which were detailed in the report:

 

  • Review and Update of 2013 Report
  • Car Parking Charging Methods
  • Charging Structure
  • Price Sensitivity Review

 

Based on the information contained in the report and the probable outcomes identified in the Capita Study, it was considered appropriate to not proceed with on-street parking charges at this time. However, it was considered significantly advantageous to instigate off-street parking within existing car parks in both Barry and Cowbridge as identified in the Capita report so as to optimise parking availability, to generate income and to ensure the effective management and control of off-street parking facilities in the future.

 

Car park charging methods had been reviewed and analysed within the Capita report and addendum, the preferred method of implementing car park charging within Barry and Cowbridge was the use of pay and display machines with a coin and card payment facility. All the new town centre car parks implementing the new charging regime would also provide the ability for customers to pay by phone as was currently the case in the existing seasonal car parks.

 

Based on the above considerations and principles, the report recommended that the standard charge levels and tariffs as identified in the table below be introduced to encourage and promote short stay parking in Kendrick Road car park, Barry; Thompson Street car park, Barry; Wyndham Street car park, Barry; Butts car park, Cowbridge; and Town Hall car park, Cowbridge.

 

Duration of Stay

All Car Parks

Up to 2 hours

£1.00

Up to 3 hours

£1.60

Up to 4 hours

£2.20

Over 4 hours

£5.00

 

An analysis of the income generated from the proposed charging structure identified above was provided in the table below. This analysis made the following assumptions:-

 

  • Duration of stay (No. of cars per day) as identified in Capita report.
  • Pay and Display machines were used in all car parks.
  • Parking charges were applied in the town centre car parks identified in the report.
  • Blue badge holders would be exempt from charges in line with the current seasonal car park charging regime. 

The recommended charging structure outlined in the table above was considered by the report to offer affordable and proportionate tariffs to meet the needs of the town centre environment whilst achieving the maximum income to offset the significant savings and challenging budget constraints that the Council would have to address in future years. The income generated from car park charges and the level of parking in town centre car parks would need to be reviewed annually and adjusted to ensure the optimum charging structure and usage of individual car parks was achieved in future years.

 

After presenting this item, the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services commented that we were one of the only Councils not to charge for car parking. The Cabinet Member for Regeneration also commented that she had spoken to Cowbridge Town Council and shop owners who were keen to tackle long term parking and this was a positive move forward.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)       T H A T the proposals for introducing off-street parking charges within the Barry and Cowbridge town centre car parks as described within the report be agreed, with charging times also to be agreed.

 

(2)       T H A T the proposed amendments to the off-street seasonal parking charge regime as described within the report be agreed.

 

(3)       T H A T the current status and arrangements with regards to Resident Only parking and Disabled Parking Bay provision be maintained.

 

(4)       T H A T authority is granted to employ, through the Civil Parking Enforcement Partnership, an additional one permanent and one seasonal Civil Parking Enforcement Officer, to be funded from increased income from Penalty Charge Notices (PCN's).

 

(5)       T H A T further reports be provided to Cabinet in due course detailing all options for increased revenue generation from Car Parking throughout the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

(6)          T H A T the report be forwarded to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy & Environment) for their consideration and comment.

 

(7)          T H A T further consideration be given to free late/overnight parking in specified car parks.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To enable the proposed off-street parking charges to be introduced within Barry and Cowbridge town centre car parks.

 

(2)       To enable the proposed amendments to the off-street seasonal parking charge regime to be implemented.

 

(3)       To clarify the Local Highway Authority policy in connection with Resident Only parking and Disabled Parking Bay provision.

 

(4)       To address the increase in enforcement demand arising from the report.

 

(5)       To allow Cabinet to take decisions on future car park charging phases.

 

(6)          To seek the input of the relevant Scrutiny Committee to any car park charging decisions.

 

(7)          To consider the provision of out-of-hours car parking.

 

 

Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 27 JULY 2015

 

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