Friday, 28 September 2012

New parking charges for Launceston proposed

Following the public meeting held in the Town Hall a couple of months ago, Cornwall Council's Parking Panel has agreed recommendations for new parking rates for Launceston from next April.

The option they are recommending to Cabinet is for all Cornwall Council owned car parks (ie Walk House, Tower Street, Pannier Market and Cattle Market):

1 hr - rate abolished, minimum charge for 2 hours
Up to 2 hours - £1
2-3 hours - £3.30
3-4 hours - £4.80 in Cattle Market only
All day - £5 in Cattle Market, £5.80 in Walk House

The biggest change is the move from charging 50p for the first hour and then charging £1.60 for two hours to a single 'up to two hours' rate. This option was preferred by a small majority of those who returned consultation forms. On the positive side, it encourages people coming to town to stay longer. On the negative side, it means that the minimum charge for parking (for those who only want to stay a few minutes) rises by 66%.

It should be noted that the parking panel was constrained in the options they were allowed to recommend. Despite the overwhelming view of the public meeting being that Cornwall Council should stop treating car parks as a cash cow, the panel had to make a recommendation based on 'cost neutral' options. However, even that is a misleading term as many people believe that far more cars will use our car parks if the costs drop - meaning more profit for the council. Cornwall is already the second highest earning council in the UK outside London from parking.

On the subject of season tickets, the panel chose to support the trial currently taking place and is not going to make a recommendation before seeing the outcome of the trial.

These are just recommendations at this stage. They go to the Cabinet to make the final decision which then goes out to public consultation.


David said...

Exeter Haven car park at £1.20 for the day, only 5 minutes walk from the Cathedral.

Paul Loft said...

Not so convenient for Launceston town centre shops though David.

David said...

Paul, I think we may both agree that at £5 for the day Launceston still isn't offering a good deal. Nevertheless I don't really know why there's all this discussion about cost of parking in the town as it would seem that enforcement is almost non-existent and many motorists leave their cars anywhere that's convenient to them. And what's happened to the notion of Westgate Street is restricted access?