Shrewsbury BID has welcomed important changes to Shropshire Council’s revised Car Parking Strategy, which is due to go to Cabinet for consideration next week.
Significant updates to the proposal have been made following Shropshire Council’s 12 week consultation. They include free parking for coaches as well as free Sunday car parking in Abbey Foregate, Frankwell and St Julian Friars.
Shrewsbury BID responded to the draft Shropshire Council Car Parking Strategy consultation following engagement with its 500 members. They also worked with car parking experts AECOM before outlining their detailed concerns about the proposals. During the consultation period, a total of 2,486 public responses were submitted, showing many of the individual consultation proposals were unsupported.
22 new and revised recommendations have been formulated as a result. They include an eight hour cap in Abbey Foregate, Frankwell and Raven Meadows car parks, no evening charges in Abbey Foregate and St Julians Friar’s car parks, the reduction in charges at St Julians Friar’s car park from £1.80 to £1 per hour and the extended opening at Raven Meadows to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a £5.40 overnight fee (equivalent to a charge of three hours). The trial of a check-in and check-out facility, rather than pay on exit, will enable visitors to easily extend their stays and improve the overall experience.
Kevin Lockwood, Shrewsbury BID Board member and Chair of the BID’s Access and Car Parking Group said: “Whilst we think the changes could have gone further, they do represent a significant shift. We would like to thank our members who attended meetings and responded to our consultation. It gives is great confidence that Shropshire Council has taken action by revising the draft proposals, showing that our collective voice on local issues can effect real change.”
Dilwyn Jones, Director of Shrewsbury BID and Shrewsbury Tourism has welcomed the introduction of free coach parking to support the growing visitor economy:
“I was really concerned when Shropshire Council announced their new parking strategy proposal last year. Access and parking is a crucial part to the success of Shrewsbury’s offer. The new proposal does include parking increases but I do feel the Council have listened and showed compromise. Sunday parking is free in some car parks instead of £1 so that’s a real win. Coach parking is still free so that is still a carrot for tour operators. Linear parking actually offers cheaper parking in certain car parks for certain periods and there is now a cap after 8 hours on some car parks so that encourages dwell time. The key is now communication and signage to help people as they enter the one way system. That is what I hope the proposed integrated transport system and the new on street signage will do.”
Shrewsbury BID will monitor the impact of the proposed changes, reviewing footfall and trading figures shared by its members. It will also take part in a review of Shrewsbury’s Park and Ride services with Shropshire Council, exploring further ways to improve the visitor experience.