Monday, November 29, 2010

Yet another increase in parking charges

As usual my thanks to Tav for linking to the document with the proposed charge increase in January for the district's car-parks as well as the proposed changes for next October. As I've already done a comparison of the previous set brought in on October it was no hardship to add these in. It is a pain to translate these into html, so I'll just run a brief on the first set of changes.

Every charge on the "up to 3 hours" and "over 3 hours" is increasing by 10p. The "24-48 hours" is increasing by 20p. There are also additional "up to 1 hour" charges created at Bateman's Yard, and Castle Road at the now standard 80p

The most interesting thing is that Worcester Street in Kidderminster doesn't feature in the Jan review and has changed name in the Oct review to "Coronation Gardens", nor to does Weavers Wharf appear in either and therefore presumably remains as is.

In terms of missing items the "24-48 hours" for Vale Road has vanished. This could mean the simple "over 2 hours" now covers this.

What has been making the news is the 'free hour' in Vale Road. Imagine you were told it cost 80p per hour to park, but the first hour was free. How much would you expect to pay for 2 hours? I'm guessing you'd say 80p - wrong, try £2.20.

The really big joke is that in Oct there will be an "up to 1 hour" free and the "up to 2 hours" will drop to £1.20. So between Jan and Oct it'll cost £2.20 to park for the minimum stay on a car-park that is already deserted since the minimum 80p charge was created.

Can we expect this to be introduced early thanks to the lobbying efforts of the Mitton ward's Conservative team? A sceptical soul might think this was left off purposefully simply to allow it to be added.

As part of this joke the new tier structure to be brought in for October will almost completely change everything, introducing both new charge bands to many car parks as well as the "up to 1 hour" free rate for many. The price for this lies with the over 3 hours and 24-48 rises which vary from 50p to almost £2.00.

What I will say though is the Oct 11 review does indeed make progress towards consistency in terms of the banding, but still we get

It is recognised that demand for spaces from visitors in the two market towns places greater pressure on their use and therefore a higher charge is more appropriate than in Kidderminster to encourage long stay parking in these towns to migrate to the outer car parks.
Yeah or you could (as I've already suggested) simply remove the long-term banding from those car-parks. All you're doing is allowing those who can afford to pay extra to park closer i.e wealthy visitors get to park close to the town, poorer visitors don't. Annoyingly I can see the logic behind this - we want those with money to spend to have easy access to our amenities, but this price differential will only be truly known to locals. Tourists heading in tend to be directed to the meadows car-parks which will be at the higher price; this may deter future visits unless the cheaper sport's centre car-parks are pointed out to them.

I don't recall the signs differentiating this, so perhaps new long term parking signs need to point to the sport's centre in Stourport and Gardeners Meadow in Bewdley?


FlipC said...

To try and keep things together ;-) in reply to MCB.

As yet we have no meters they tend to be a feature of cities; I say as yet some have been joking that the next phase will be to introduce them in an effort to make money, sorry to better help control the flow of traffic and increase parking availability within higher density areas.

That said, your remark about how quick they are to pounce, at times I wish ours had a similar zeal when it comes to the on-street parking. Perhaps minus the fine and more a "Move before I fine you" attitude. Then again perhaps they do I've just rarely seen any about.

As for fines we've a similar thing in terms of payment structure but it's worded the other way around. It's normally £x but if you pay within a short time frame it's only £y. In other words don't contest it, just pay the thing.

Amusingly if you do contest it the 'clock' stops so you can still get to pay the lower figure if your appeal fails, but not a lot of people know that.