Make parking solutions fit towns, traders tell cumbrian council

Parking provision across Allerdale should be specific to each town, traders have told the borough council.
Cockermouth and District Chamber of Trade vice chairman Jonty Chippendale told a meeting of the scrutiny panel yesterday that solutions which would benefit one town might not help another.

He attended the meeting to make suggestions amid a borough-wide review of parking.

The review was launched after the chamber presented a petition to the council calling for more free off-street parking to help Cockermouth businesses recover from the 2009 floods.

At the meeting Mr Chippendale said: The problem in Allerdale is; one solution will not help all the towns in the borough.

Some towns have specific needs and certain solutions need to be found for each town.

We need a different approach and, for example, need more long stay car parks in Cockermouth and short stay ones in Workington.

Mr Chippendale said shoppers and visitors needed to be encouraged to spend more time in town and that there were solutions to the car parking problems that would not cost large amounts of money.

He added: We should be able to promote cheaper parking and encourage more people to use car parks.

We should give periods throughout the day because offering free days in my mind is counter productive.

Keswick town councillor Roger Purkiss, who also attended the meeting, agreed with Mr Chippendale. He said: I have never seen Keswick so quiet and bed and breakfast bookings are well down at the moment.

Workington town centre development manager Dave Fletcher said people should be attracted to the whole of west Cumbria and not just specific towns.

He said: All the towns have different needs but we need to certainly stop people coming in at 11am and leaving by 1pm.

It means businesses such as coffee shops are struggling.

Ian Payne, the councils strategic manager for places, said: We look to set charges where it is most cost effective to do so.

We look to have more short stay car parks near the town centre to get a high turnover of spaces and long stay car parks more on the periphery. We will be looking to determine charges separately for each town with regard to different levels of demand for off-street parking and the economy of each area.

We will also look to apply different charges during peak demand and off-peak parking if possible.

He added that pay on exit schemes had been considered but would be problematic and a pay by phone service which has been tried in Keswick could be rolled out to other towns.

Public consultation into the review ended yesterday and all evidence collected will be considered by the scrutiny committee on February 25, when it will make recommendations to the full council.
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