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On-Street Parking Charges

Business/Public Responses | Comments | Correspondence | Emails

Relevant Documents | Westmorland Gazette

The Windermere & Bowness Chamber of Trade are opposed to the Cumbria County Council's proposals for 'on-street' parking charges in the format currently set out.  However The Chamber of Trade acknowledges that not all its membership or the businesses in Bowness and Windermere are against the idea and that the views expressed below do not reflect ALL of the membership.


Barry Butler's letter to Cllr. McCreesh - 6 July 2014

Relevant Documents:

Cumbria County Council's letter to the Windermere Town Council - NEW!

On-Street Parking and Permit Changes - 15 May 2014

On-Street Charging - 3 April 2014


The Chamber of Trade has a number of concerns over these proposals: corre

  • Possible increase by CCC of up to 20% on what is already in place.

  • Would SLDC follow suit?

  • How are the charges to be collected.  We still do not know for certain.

  • Siting of the pay machines

  • what happens to a person who wants to pop in and buy a newspaper or do a 10 minute shop?

  • the impact on visitor numbers.

  • impact on the staff of local businesses.

The Chamber of Trade is also still waiting sight of any "economic impact report" that should have been done.  Unfortunately the local County Councillor does not agree and is quoted as saying:

"Shopkeepers and tradesmen will think it might prove a disincentive

to visit towns but I think that is misjudged and exaggerated."

The Chamber of Trade wrote to the councillor concerned and below is his reply:

Dear Adrian

Thanks for your email sent on behalf of the Chamber of Trade. I will respond to your points as set out:-

1    My comments represent my own opinion and are based on my judgment and reasoning. When deciding  where to shop, my first thought is not "will I be able to park the car for nothing?", but rather "will I be able to get what I want, and will it be a pleasant experience?" If I am in an unfamiliar town, I am not deterred from stopping by the prospect of paying a modest charge on street or in a car park. I expect to do so, and am surprised, admittedly pleasantly, when it is not required. What does put me off is traffic congestion and not being able to find anywhere to park when I get there. I am not therefore going to stop driving to Bowness, Ambleside, Keswick and the other towns simply because I may have to pay a small fee to park the car. Because I live close to the centre of Windermere village I will probably avoid taking the car in and walk instead, which will be a benefit both to the village and to me. My point is that yes, there may be a number a behavioural adjustments that people will make to suit their personal circumstances - car sharing, timing, walking, delivery etc. No rational person is going to drive to Kendal, where they will probably have to pay anyway, to save themselves some small change. But my principal thought is this - we live in arguably the most attractive place in the whole of England. If we offer people what they want, welcome them properly and treat them with respect then we will undoubtedly thrive and prosper. The idea that people will only come if we offer them free parking is, in my view, misconceived and delusional. We are much better than that. As FDR said, "We have nothing to fear....".

 2    There is no requirement to conduct an economic assessment. However, looking at studies elsewhere, effective traffic management has had a positive effect by increasing the turnover of cars after it was introduced. Before deciding where and how to introduce the experimental traffic regulation orders (TROs), CCC, or specifically the South Lakes local committee, would welcome input from businesses and residents. It might be useful therefore for you to communicate with the local Highways and Transportation manager to let him know your specific concerns. He can be reached at nick.raymond@cumbria.gov.uk  In addition, as the TROs are experimental it is intended to assess their impact before making them permanent.

3&4    see 2 above.

I am very happy to meet with you to discuss these matters at a time to suit.

Kind regards,

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Barry Butler's reply in the capacity of Chair:

Dear Jo.

Thank you for your own thoughts on the matter of parking meters it is interesting to know where people are coming from on this matter.

You are in a good position with good health, living within a few hundred meters of the shops and no doubt with a reasonable disposable income.

I do walk in to the shops but live further out than yourself. 

However there are many residents that are unable to do this and rely on parking close to the shops to nip into the post office and other shops and be away in ten minutes. Some of these will not have the disposable income to keep spending on parking fees. Some do not have the level of fitness required to walk in from their homes and qualify for blue badges either. 

However if it is the intention that the first hour is free on the parking meters then this will not be a problem. 

I need to call in at the estate agents to collect and return keys and the thought of having to pay at parking meters to do this annoys me. 

We do not mind paying a reasonable amount for parking but the charges within the Lake District are unreasonable and the Chamber gets a number of complaints from visitors each year.

Ashford in Kent with their car parks charge 80p per hour with £3.20 for over 4 hours and these I consider to be reasonable. This is a fair size centre popular with shoppers and tourists and a out of town centre as well. 

York charge 30p per hour on some of their car parks and £1.00 for 3 hours. The car park by Clifford Tower/Museum is £2.30 per hour for non residents and £2.10 for residents but most of their car parks are cheaper than this.

If we can reduce the car parking charges in the Lakes to these sort of levels then they will be full and there would be fewer complaints from residents and visitors and businesses may then see a higher foot fall. 

The comments we have received this year from businesses are that the visitors that are here are not spending in the shops, cafes and restaurants whether they are day trippers or staying over night. 

We need to ensure that the visitors do have money to spend in the local businesses otherwise more will close.

We need to encourage visitors to come and make it a pleasant environment and to do this we need more cheaper car parks and easy on street parking. If the traffic wardens were effective then the turnover of on street parking would be better. 

Many of the staff employed locally travel in and we need to ensure that there is reasonable parking for them as many are on the basic wage and cannot afford to spend their first hours wage on parking. 

I understood that you were on the council to represent the views of the local residents and businesses.

Could you please provide me with the Email addresses of the councillors on the South Lakes local committee?

We will be pleased to discuss this with Nick Raymond and others that are involve in the decision making but it is a wider subject than just on street parking charges.

Regards

Barry Butler

Chair of Windermere and Bowness Chamber of Trade

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22 May 2014

Barry Butler send the following email to Cllr. John McCreesh, Chair of the the County's Local Committee for South Lakeland.

Dear Mr McCreesh.

We have been advised by Jo Stephenson to contact you regarding the proposed on street parking charges for Windermere and Bowness.

We would be pleased to meet with you and the officers in charge, Nick Raymond at the earliest convenient time to hear your proposals and to voice our concerns as to the effect on businesses and residents and see what maybe agreed.

I noticed a comment attached to the minutes of the meeting on 15 May 2014 about restrictions all year on the Glebe Road and would be pleased to know what is happening here.

We had long discussions with Steve Ratcliffe, who had consulted the County Council and Sldc, last year about the removal of some parking spaces on the basis that there would be no changes to the rest of the parking on Glebe Road apart from the creation of additional chevron style parking by Shepherds.

I await to hear from you.

Regards

Barry Butler
Chair - Windermere and Bowness Chamber of Trade

 

Cllr. McCreesh's reply:

Thanks for your email, and sorry for the delay in replying. It's been a busy period for those of us involved in local politics.

I chair the County's Local Committee for South Lakeland, and it might be useful to explain the Committee's role in the rollout of on-street parking charges. I attach the relevant page from the papers of the Cabinet meeting on the 15th - the table in 4.18 shows clearly what the Local Committee can and cannot do.

At the moment, there is work ongoing on the items over which the Local Committee does have discretion. Local members in the relevant towns have been working with Highways officers, and local residents and groups, to firm up the list of streets and discuss the most appropriate charging regime for their areas. The results of this work will be fed back to a future meeting of the Local Committee for approval.

I believe Cllr Stephenson has offered to meet you at a mutually convenient time to discuss these local implementation issues with yourselves. I would recommend this as the most useful way to engage with the process at the moment.

Obviously, as a Kendal resident, I'm not as familiar with your local issues as Cllr Stephenson. However, I am happy to meet if you think it would be useful. Please note I will be on holiday for the first two weeks in June.

When the matter comes back to Local Committee, you are of course very welcome to attend under the Council's public participation scheme (copy also attached). However, I would recommend that any representations, questions, etc are directed at issues over which the Local Committee has discretion.

Hope this helps.


John
--
County Councillor for Kendal Strickland and Fell
tel: 01539 720849
twitter: @johnmccreesh

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The Chamber of Trade have written, on May 18th 2014, to the Westmorland Gazette over these concerns and it will be published in the 29th May edition.

There are plans to get as many local shops as possible to put up Posters together with handing out flyers and putting them through doors.

Business/Public Responses

The responses from the businesses and members of the public appertaining to the On-Street Parking Charges can be found by clicking here!

The Windermere & Bowness Chamber of Trade would remind people that the views expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the whole membership.

Westmorland Gazette Articles

May 15 2014 - Parking Charges 'will hit business'
February 22 2014 - Parking Charges Lunacy

Comments

Should you have any comments to make regarding these proposals, please send them to Adrian G Faulkner - Secretary, Windermere & Bowness Chamber of Trade.

 

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