Parked atop the town's agenda: public meeting on Marlborough's car parks as Wiltshire consults on raising parking revenue
As part of the work to prepare for the Marlborough Area Neighbourhood Plan a Car Parking Study was commissioned - funded by a grant. This can now be downloaded from the Neighbourhood Plan website.
Commenting on the results of the study, the Town Mayor, Councillor Mervyn Hall, who has been leading the work on the Neighbourhood Plan, has highlighted the lack of a residential parking scheme, the prohibitively high daily charges for people coming to work in the town and the lack of parking as a dis-incentive for tourists to visit the town.
The Marlborough Parking Study will be discussed at a public meeting in the Town Hall on Monday, 16 October at 7.00pm. The study, which includes analysis of vacancy/fill rates in the car parks and an online survey that was filled in by 600 people, was carried out by the People and Places consultancy.
Mike King of People and Places will be at the meeting to explain what the study discovered. And there will be free refreshments.
Meanwhile Wiltshire Council has a live online consultation underway on parking charges across the county. This is mainly concerned with increasing the revenue they make from car parks.
If car owners do not like the idea of paying more for parking their cars, some of the options in the consultation twist their arms by asking them how else they would raise money to support "other transport measures including essential local bus services".
The inflation-based increase in parking charges has been calculated on a five year figure for the Consumer Price Index - which produces a rate of increase of 11.8 per cent, rounded to the nearest 10p. That pushes the first hour in Marlborough's car parks from 60p to 70p.
Option 2 in the consultation may prove one of the most controversial. This proposes introducing parking charges on Sundays and Bank and Public Holidays in Marlborough - and all other areas. This, they estimate, would raise £78,000 across the county. What would it do to community activities and trade in the town on Sundays?
For Option 2 you have to choose between:
:: Wiltshire Council implementing Sunday and bank holiday charges in all its car parks (including those that are currently free during the week)
:: Spreading the income requirement across the chargeable car parks within that local community with the resulting cost increase to parking charges
:: A reduction in the equivalent funding of public transport and other highway services.
You may begin to wonder where the famous Mr Hobson of 'Hobson's choice' would have parked his horse and cart.
To give your views go to the consultation's 'front page' (which has links to various appendices with information about parking charges around Wiltshire and elsewhere.) Then look for: "TAKE THE CONSULTATION HERE" and click on the HERE.
This consultation closes at 23.59 on 23 November 2017.