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Car parking charges review

Published: 07/12/2018

Flintshire County Council’s Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee will consider the outcome of the review of the new car parking charges when they meet next week.

The new charges were raised in May 2018 to help the Council balance its budget and to ensure the income from the car parks matched the cost of providing the service.

Flintshire’s Cabinet requested a review of the new parking charges after six month and this has now been completed and a number of recommended changes to the charging arrangements are proposed.

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:

“All suggestions and amendments have been considered against the Council’s car parking strategy which was approved to manage the car parks and ensure car parking spaces are available for shoppers and visitors to our town centres.  The charges were introduced to help towards cost recovery of the maintenance and running of the car parks.

“There are several amendments which are proposed which, while some will increase income to ensure the car parks are maintained in an acceptable condition, they will also offer more spaces and flexibility.”

The favoured changes to the car parking strategy are below.  It is important to ensure that any suggested amendments are evaluated against the current strategy.

  1. To introduce pay and display charges on the third tier of the car park at County Hall on the spaces nearest to Llwynegrin Hall, with remaining spaces on the tiers retained for permit holders only.
  2. To introduce a 4 hour tariff band at Llwynegrin Hall, the increase in time will be more convenient for people visiting and attending weddings at Llwynegrin Hall.
  3. To increase the charge at Alexander Street, Shotton car park to £2 all day. This will align with the charge for users of the Railway Station at Flint.
  4. A trial of a chip and contactless payment function will take place at three selected locations for a quick and convenient way to pay the appropriate tariff. If the trial proves to be successful, the arrangement will be extended to other car parks across the County and for all new machines installed in future.
  5. It is proposed to trial ‘pay by phone’ facility on one of the pay and display machines in the County. A viable option would be the machine at Flint Railway Station, due the nature of the customers using the car park. If successful this payment option would be introduced at other suitable locations across the County.
  6. A review of maximising on street parking in town centres in order to provide some free short stay parking for quick visits to the town centre if possible is permissible within the strategy. The Council is currently trialling de-pedestrianisation in Holywell Town Centre, to provide free on-street car parking and encourage shoppers to the town.
  7. The £1 tariff in Mold has been increased to 3 hours from 2 hours in long and short stay car parks.  The proposal was within the strategy and limitations and had no impact on income levels and could be supported. On this basis, the revised arrangements were introduced in September.
  8. A review of parking configuration to increase the car parking spaces available at New Street car park, Mold, to support the increase in visitors to the town centre.
  9. A suggestion can be supported to support free car parking charges during the period of town centre festivals in a single car park, for up to 2 days per year, in each town in the County, based on a formal request and Business Case being submitted by the Town Council.  The offer of free car parking for the month of December in towns would be considered to within the strategy and would be classed as a single event for the Town (if approved) however, due to the extended period, the cost to provide this arrangement would be passed by the Town Council.