18/04/2024 - Permalink

Changes to parking charges agreed

Related topics: Highways, transport and environmental maintenance

Abbey Foregate car park in Shrewsbury

Shropshire Council’s Cabinet has agreed a number of changes to parking charges in the council’s car parks and on-street parking areas.

A report was originally presented to – and agreed by – Cabinet on 17 January 2024 but the decision was then ‘called in’ for consideration by the council’s economy and environment scrutiny committee on 19 February.

A new report was considered and approved by Cabinet at its meeting on 17 April 2024.

The new report to Cabinet considered issues raised by the scrutiny committee in relation to the original report and asked them to agree the original proposals, but with the following changes:

  • To raise the existing charge at Abbey Foregate in Shrewsbury from 60p/hour to 80p/hour, rather than £1.00/hour as originally proposed.
  • Evening charges: Introduce a flat fee of £1.00 for parking between 6pm and 10pm, rather than charging the hourly rate between 6pm and 8pm.
  • Sunday parking: Introduce a fee of one hour maximum at car parks where there is currently no Sunday charge, rather than charging half the normal rate as originally proposed.
  • To raise the existing charge at Raven Meadows multi-storey in Shrewsbury from £2.00/hour to £2.40/hour.

The proposed legal means of introducing most of the changes has also been changed from just notifying the public to one which includes a notice and consultation period via a traffic regulation order.

The changes that have been agreed – ahead of a traffic regulation order consultation – can be seen here. The date on which changes would come into effect is to be confirmed.

Cabinet also agreed the preparation of a Parking Asset Improvement Plan for the repair and maintenance of car parks throughout Shropshire; to review the parking service’s roles and structure; and to review and rewrite the council’s parking strategy.

Dan Morris, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for parking, said:

“Following feedback from the scrutiny committee, and from Shrewsbury BID, we reconsidered some of the original proposals and have agreed some changes which we feel address these comments, while allowing us to meet our original objectives.

“We know that not everyone will welcome proposals to increase parking charges, 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 – including cycling and walking – 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.

“In addition, our 83 car parks have not kept pace with maintenance requirements such as surfacing, lining, signing, drainage, boundaries, green assets and cleaning. The structure of our parking service and our parking strategy also need to be reviewed.”

Permit/season ticket charges will also increase in proportion with the hourly tariff changes, but – for example – an annual permit:

  • for Abbey Foregate in Shrewsbury will cost around £12.30 a week (£640/year).
  • for St Julian’s Friars in Shrewsbury will cost £13 a week (£681/year).
  • for Oswestry, Ludlow and Market Drayton will cost less than £10 a week (£480/year).

A half-price park and ride promotion is set to begin later this year, offering people a return journey into the town centre for just £1.

Further information

By law, any surplus money Shropshire Council receives from car parking over and above the cost of providing, maintaining and administering it must be used for the benefit of road users.

Any surplus generated from these changes would therefore be put towards funding public transport services, road improvement projects and environmental improvements.

In Shrewsbury the charges proposed clearly comply with the principle of higher charges in the centre, reducing as the distance from the centre is increased. They are:-

  • £3.60 per hour: On-street bays are the closest to the town centre,
  • £2.80 per hour: Bridge Street, St Austins Street,
  • £2.40 per hour: Raven Meadows,
  • £1.60 per hour: St Julians Friars,
  • £1.20 per hour: Frankwell,
  • 80p per hour: Abbey Foregate (the furthest away).

Outside Shrewsbury parking charges are set to rise by a set 20p per hour, though many car parks will remain free.

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

A new, more flexible parking strategy will be written, within the next six to 12 months, which would entail a countywide non-statutory consultation.