10/01/2024 - Permalink

Cabinet to consider changes to parking charges

Related topics: Democracy / Highways, transport and environmental maintenance
Cars parked in Abbey Foregate car park in Shrewsbury with the Abbey in the background

Abbey Foregate car park in Shrewsbury

Shropshire Council’s Cabinet will next week – Wednesday 17 January 2024 – be asked to consider changes to parking charges in the council’s car parks and on-street parking areas.

The changes are being proposed to encourage people to change behaviour, and to raise additional income for spending on the maintenance of car parks.

If agreed the changes will come into effect on 1 April 2024.

In Shrewsbury, an increase in charges is proposed to help redistribute vehicles by encouraging motorists to park outside of the river loop, or to use Park and Ride or other bus services, or – if possible – to walk, cycle or use other forms of active travel. The increase varies by car park.

The report recognises that improvements to the reliability and frequency of the park and ride service is needed, and says that initially research will take place into the feasibility of a late bus for people unable to catch the current last bus at 6.30pm.

Outside Shrewsbury an increase in tariffs is proposed to improve the operation of the car parks particularly in terms of maintenance. A fixed amount is to be applied to all tariffs.  Details are given in the report.

Other recommendations include charging for parking until 8pm (rather than 6pm as at present) in Shrewsbury, and to introduce/increase Sunday and Bank Holiday charges across the county.

Permit/season ticket charges are also proposed to increase in proportion with the hourly tariff changes.

If all proposals within the report are approved, it is estimated that an additional income of £1.76m per year will be achieved after implementation costs have been taken out.

Cabinet will also be asked to agree the preparation of a Parking Asset Improvement Plan for the repair and maintenance of car parks throughout the Shropshire; to review the parking service’s roles and structure; and that the council’s parking strategy is reviewed and rewritten.

Dan Morris, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:

“We know that not everyone will welcome these proposals, but we ask people to understand the reasons behind them.

“In Shrewsbury the primary objective is to encourage motorists to park outside the river loop – or use other forms of transport – reducing the number of vehicles entering the town centre, helping to increase the number of spaces available for those who need them, and minimising emissions.

“Outside Shrewsbury several car parks are close to meeting or exceeding the optimal occupancy level.

“And our 83 car parks have not kept pace with maintenance requirements such as surfacing, lining, signing, drainage, boundaries, green assets, and cleaning. To address the car park maintenance needs in Shropshire an increase in charges is required throughout the county.

“In short, we hope these proposals will encourage people to park outside Shrewsbury’s river loop – or use alternative modes of travel – and will enable the council to better maintain our car parks and bring them up to the standard that people require and expect.”

The existing parking strategy was written in 2017 and adopted by Cabinet in 2018, and needs revision to take account of changing circumstances and lessons.

It is proposed that a new, more flexible strategy be written, within the next six-to-twelve months, which would entail a countywide non-statutory consultation.

Further information

Sunday and Bank Holiday charges:

  • Where charges are currently half price they will be charged at full price
  • Where parking is currently free, it will be charged at half price.

Shrewsbury contributes 71% of the overall increase in parking income, whilst Shropshire (excluding Shrewsbury) contributes 29%. This significant imbalance illustrates the need to influence the behaviour of motorists in Shrewsbury