Sunday & Bank Holiday parking charges and permit increases: Wiltshire Council consultation now open - till May 21
Over the past ten days and more, many visitors to the town have been parking for free in the George Lane car park as both the ticket machines are out of order. This comes as the Council opens its (delayed) consultation on the major changes and increases to car parking charges.
The first round of increases - to hourly rates for car parks - have already come into force. Other and more radical increases - including Sunday and Bank Holiday charges across the county and the near doubling of the cost of parking permits - come under legislation and take longer to bring in.
The consultation is now open. But it is a short consultation, closing on May 21.
At their meeting on Monday evening (April 30), town councillors asked the Town Clerk to write to Wiltshire Council with their opposition to the measures. They are also asking for the Sunday and Bank Holiday charges to be delayed to the autumn - so as not to impact on the town's tourist season.
During the meeting, Councillor Bryan Castle asked why Sunday morning charges were being introduced - as they would inhibit Sunday worshippers.
It will also be interesting to see how the charges affect the numbers of youngsters taking part in Marlborough Hockey Club's junior training sessions on Sunday morning at the College's all weather pitches. Parents, many of whom come from surrounding villages, park in the Hyde Lane car park.
Wiltshire Council have explained why they are making such hefty rises in the price of parking permits - also called season tickets:
Amending season tickets prices to reflect 50% of the daily charge in the applicable car park.
While a season ticket does not guarantee a parking space, they do offer considerable savings when compared to standard charges. As a result however, and particularly as they are popular with commuters, season tickets can increase car use (particularly at peak times), discourage the use of sustainable transport modes (as people have already paid for parking) and reduce the availability and turnover of parking spaces (as commuters often park for eight hours).
The increased take up of season tickets has impacted on the income of the council due to the lower cost of parking for season ticket holders; currently, depending on the car park, season ticket holders receive up to an 85% discount on full day rate ticket prices. To address the income impact and help deal with the implications of season tickets outlined above, it is proposed that all season tickets should be based on a standard discount percentage of 50% of the day rate.