Thursday, 1 August 2013

Parking Charges

There has been a lot of coverage today about a report which lists Cornwall in the top ten councils for parking income in the UK. Comparing Cornwall with London boroughs or Brighton and Hove is misleading. Cornwall has three times the population of the average London borough and twice that of Brighton and Hove. We are also a very popular visitor area and have a lot of car parks so it is not surprising that we have a lot of money coming in from them.

Without the income from parking, the council could not afford to provide the services that the people of Cornwall and our visitors rely on. We would have to cut these services and put council tax up. The income from parking equates to about 4% on council tax.

Whilst we receive about £8 million net income from parking each year, Cornwall Council spends £14.3 million each year on roads maintenance - things like hedge cutting, street lighting and so on. We also have a capital programme of £26 million for road repairs and safety works. On top of this, yesterday Cornwall Council approved a £60 million scheme to dual the A30 at Temple. This is one of the biggest bottlenecks on our road network which delays tens of thousands of drivers every year and deters businesses thinking of locating to mid or West Cornwall.

But it is right to say that parking charges in Cornwall are too high. That is why the council agreed with a Liberal Democrat proposal in the last budget for a scheme to cut pay and display prices. We believe that we could get the same income for the council but higher usage but cutting charges which would benefit the shops and businesses in our town centres and our visitor attractions which rely on footfall. This has already worked for season ticket prices and we hope to roll it out for pay and display charges too.

1 comment:

Sandy Angove said...

It will be interesting to see if the Attfield v Borough of Barnet case is Appealed and its repurcussions on Cornwall