People can now comment on proposals for simpler tariffs, more online services, cheaper long-stay parking and tickets that can be used in multiple locations, which are among a number of improvements being proposed in a major modernisation of Plymouth’s parking arrangements.
Proposals include smarter meters that will allow people to park for longer if they overpay (for example if they don’t have the right change) and ‘transferable tickets’ that can be used in any on-street areas with the same restrictions (so drivers can move their cars where there is still time left on their ticket).
Other proposals include simplifying and reducing the number of business permits from four to two and introducing a new business visitor permit at a charge of £2.
Hotel and guest house permits will move to a new digital system and ‘virtual’ permits will be introduced for guests, so they can be booked online without needing to collect and display paper permits. Permit fees, which have been the same for over 20 years, will be increased from £2 to £5.
Off-street tariffs for motorists with Blue Badges are set to be standardised so that charges apply in all Council car parks (as in other parts of the South West) but a new ‘virtual’ permit will enable Blue Badge holders who live in Plymouth to park in any Council car park for just £40 a year.
On-street parking tariffs will increase by 10p an hour and a flat-rate evening tariff of £2 will be introduced in all areas (excluding the Hoe Foreshore) from 6pm to 8am, in line with evening charges in the city centre.
Off-street parking tariffs will also increase by 10p an hour but in city centre car parks, the ‘up to six hours’ charge will be reduced to encourage people to stay longer. The one-hour option will be removed from long-stay car parks.
Councillor Steve Ricketts, Cabinet Member for Transport and Housing Delivery, said: “We’ve carried out a wide-ranging review of our parking fees and arrangements to make them more consistent, less confusing for customers and more in sync with the approach taken by other councils in the region.
“Some of our fees haven’t been increased in decades and there are areas where we are using outdated systems – for example processing and issuing permits for hotels and guest houses.
“We are facing tough financial challenges and we need to ensure we are delivering services as efficiently as possible, while keeping parking charges competitive and fair and supporting businesses.”
The consultation finishes on 9 February. Anyone wishing to make a representation on the proposals should do so in writing to the Assistant Director for Street Services or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All representations received during the consultation will be considered by the Council in determining whether to implement the proposals. If approved, the changes will be implemented in April 2017.
Full details of the proposals are outlined in the Cabinet report here