An extensive package of parking measures has been brought forward to address the possible impact of the closure of an area of common land in Kendal to vehicles.
South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC’s) Cabinet today (Wednesday, 13 September) noted a number of parking options, designed to mitigate potential issues with vehicles displaced from New Road common parking in residential streets following the intended closure next week.
At its meeting on 30 August Cabinet approved an ‘early-bird’ tariff at the Westmorland Shopping Centre car park be reduced from the existing £2.20 to £1 per day for drivers arriving before 9am, Monday to Saturday. This will take effect from next Monday, 18 September, the date of the intended closure of New Road common to vehicles.
This offer was designed specifically to appeal to all-day workers commuting to Kendal, seen as a significant number of those that currently use New Road common for parking.
At the same time Cabinet requested that officers investigate other options to address parking pressures resulting from the displacement of other groups using New Road, including residents in nearby flats, market traders, worshippers at town centre churches and shift and evening economy workers.
Today’s meeting heard detail about a further nine measures, designed to ensure that these users have parking options to avoid causing impact on residential street parking.
The officers’ report took into account feedback received from many of these user groups since the intended closure was announced, following a series of public meetings and separate meetings with individuals and representative groups, including Kendal BID and the town council.
The measures agreed today are:
- Westmorland Shopping Centre car park closing time extended from 7pm until 9pm
- South Lakeland House car park to open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Sunday tariffs on all levels at South Lakeland House car park adjusted to 20p per hour, up to a maximum of £1 for over 4 hours
- Charging hours on South Lakeland House car park to change from current 8am to 6pm to 8.30am to 5.30pm
- £1 a day parking on Blackhall Road car park if ticket purchased before 7am, seven days a week
- Sandes Avenue car park be designated for blue badge holders and permit parking for market traders only on Wednesday and Saturday
- Sandes Avenue car park to be made 20p per hour, up to a maximum of £1 for over 4 hours on non-market days
- Visitor parking bays removed at South Lakeland House car park, to increase parking capacity
- Library Road car park changed from long-stay to multi-tariff
In addition, the council is to review pay and display systems at Westmorland Shopping Centre car park to examine whether more flexibility could be offered on parking in the future.
The intention is that, where possible, these additional parking measures will be in place by 18 September 2017.
Many of the measures would be subject to an initial trial period, up to 2 January 2018.
The package of parking options is in addition to the already agreed commitment to look at developing new long-term parking facilities in Kendal, with a feasibility study under way to examine whether council-owned land at Beezon Fields can be turned into affordable edge-of-town parking, including coach and RV (Recreational Vehicle) parking.
Councillor Graham Vincent, portfolio holder for the Economy, said: “We were always aware that the closure of New Road to vehicles would result in extra pressure on parking in the town, and there was a concern that motorists currently using New Road would seek to find alternative parking that could result in parking problems in residential areas.
“To address this we approved the £1 all-day offer at the Westmorland Shopping Centre and asked officers to look at other parking options to mitigate the effect.
“We have listened carefully to the feedback we have received from residents, market traders, worshippers at town centre churches, taxi drivers and shift workers, as well as commuters, and we have met with many users of New Road and business and community representatives over the past week to understand their situations.
“We believe that this comprehensive package of parking options now addresses many of the issues raised during those discussions.
“Some of these measures will be for an initial trial period and we will continue to monitor the situation, but it is certainly the Leader of the council’s wish that, subject to review, these offers will continue until any new long-term parking facility is developed.’’
Commenting on the new proposals, Tim Farron MP said: “I’m pleased to see the council introducing a range of positive new parking proposals which will benefit everyone in the town from local residents to market traders.
“These measures will give hundreds of motorists much cheaper options than they currently have now and shows that the council are listening to the needs of local people.”
Councillors approved the closure of New Road common to vehicles on 30 August after considering a report that identified safety, legal and insurance risks in allowing the current parking activity to continue.
That decision was ‘called-in’ and will be examined by the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee this Friday, which may choose to refer the matter back to Cabinet, to Full Council or confirm the decision.