Posts Tagged ‘parking’

At night Much Wenlock’s streets are full and the car parks are nearly empty*

Shropshire Council’s consultation setting out its car parking proposals is divided into four parts. The second one deals with the tariff framework for:

  1. Weekly tickets
  2. Season tickets
  3. Residents’ off-street permits
  4. Coach & HGV parking

Probably the most interesting aspect of the second consultation is the proposal to make residents’ off-street car parking permits available in Much Wenlock. There are two pricing discount options being considered and there are two different types of permit. Type 1 is valid all of the time and Type 2 probably from 5pm until 10am and at all times on Saturdays and Sundays.

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For Much Wenlock, Type 1 is either £320 or £400 in St Mary’s Lane or Falcons Court. In New Road it will be £192 or £240 dependent upon the discount option. Type 2, which will probably appeal to commuters living in the town, is either £160 or £240 in St Mary’s Lane or Falcons Court. In New Road it will be £96 or £144 dependent upon the discount option. Given that the only current permit alternative is a season ticket (£450 in St Mary’s Lane and Falcons Court or £270 in New Road) this is worth consideration.

It is proposed that weekly tickets may be purchased and can be used at all Shropshire Council car parks in the same, or lower, banding. For Much Wenlock, buying 8 hours on the meter in Falcons Court or St Mary’s Lane currently costs £3 per day, and if you’re parking for five days that would be £15. The proposal is that this would now be £17 for the week. If you’re parking in New Road car park currently it would cost you £9 for the week and the proposal would cost £10.

There are further season tickets available for 1, 3, 6 and 12 months. Shropshire Council is consulting on two discount options but, at these proposed prices, it will be surprising if they prove attractive to drivers.

Much Wenlock season ticket options - click to enlarge

Much Wenlock season ticket options – click to enlarge

The current charges are lower than those proposed and, in the past three years, only four season tickets have been purchased. I don’t know what length of time these were for.

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The consultation not only seeks your comments on the proposals, but also any alternative suggestions that you might have. Of course, you may have observations about how the proposed strategy might affect Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth or other towns that many of us visit.

* Health warning – I have extracted this information from the draft consultation which was approved by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet on 12th July 2017. I have endeavoured to represent it accurately so far as Much Wenlock is concerned, but I urge you to refer to the official consultation document when you make your comments.

Will increased charges make under-used car parks in Much Wenlock more popular?*

I don’t think so.

Shropshire Council’s consultation setting out its car parking proposals is divided into four parts. The first one deals with:

  1. Linear charging
  2. Pricing bands
  3. Unrestricted parking
  4. Evening parking
  5. Loading bays
  6. “Pop & Shop” parking, and
  7. Raven Meadows opening hours

I mentioned the impact of linear charging in my first article on this consultation. At St Mary’s Lane car park, and the little-used Falcons Court car park, a stay for up to three hours is likely to prove to be slightly cheaper than it is currently. For periods longer than three hours (for instance if a visitor is going for a ramble on the Shropshire Way, or taking in the museum and a spot of lunch) it becomes increasingly expensive to stay for a long period (not exceeding a day).

The Back Lane short-stay car park, where waiting is currently limited to one hour, will have the time restriction lifted and rely upon the hourly charge of 70p to ensure that there’s a rapid turnover.

Back Lane car park, Much Wenlock

Back Lane car park, Much Wenlock – Thursday 13th July 2017 6pm

Evening parking is currently free after 6pm, until 8am the following day. The proposal is for the free overnight stay to start later -at 8pm, and instead remain in place until 9am the following day. The draft consultation document demonstrates that this seems to be driven by the desire for consistency in Shropshire and to make it easier for Shropshire Council to manage.

Falcons Court car park

Falcons Court car park, Much Wenlock  – Thursday 13th July 2017 6pm

The 15-minute “pop & shop” period introduced in 2013 is going under these proposals. Shropshire Council reckon that the 10-minute “observation period”,  i.e. before an enforcement officer can slap a ticket on your vehicle, is enough to buy something like a newspaper. They say that they want to encourage folk to visit our towns for longer so that they’ll spend more money. But shoppers may have to spend more money on parking charges too. I am concerned that this will lead to more people parking their cars and vans on double yellow lines, some times on the footway, while they pop to buy a sandwich, or go to the bank.

The consultation not only seeks your comments on the proposals, but also any alternative suggestions that you might have. I am keen that we invest in signing pedestrian access to our car parks better and using imaginative solutions to get more cars off the streets into the car parks. Of course, you may have observations about how the proposed strategy might affect Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth or other towns that many of us visit.

* Health warning – I have extracted this information from the draft consultation which was approved by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet on 12th July 2017. I have endeavoured to represent it accurately so far as Much Wenlock is concerned, but I urge you to refer to the official consultation document when you make your comments.

Car parking proposed charges – bad news for Much Wenlock?*

Much Wenlock is a charming town, loved by residents and visitors alike. But, like many such places, the motor car is a blessing and a curse. With limited public transport available, cars and coaches are the principal means of visiting the town. Before the development of Telford new town and the growth of commuting to jobs there, and to the West Midlands, Much Wenlock was a small market town whose economic activity was largely agriculture and limestone quarrying. While its transformation in the past fifty years with the advent of new housing estates has been largely positive, nearly all of the attractive traditional stone cottages and brick terraces which line the streets have no off-street car parking area.

As a result, the streets are lined with parked cars – as they are in many other historic towns. Meanwhile, it is rare that Much Wenlock’s car parks are full. Unless there is a major event taking place in the town it is virtually unknown for Falcons Court and New Road car parks to see more than a handful of cars. This is not only the case during the day when the shops and cafés are open, but also at night. Currently, Shropshire Council’s car parks in Much Wenlock are free overnight, but they are little-used by residents.

A consultation was carried out recently regarding on-street parking, loading bays and a disabled parking bay.  Whilst public comments resulted in some alterations to those proposals, they haven’t been implemented yet. Similarly, efforts to keep unnecessary HGVs off the streets of Much Wenlock seem to have stalled at present. I’m pushing hard to get these schemes in place but meanwhile a Shropshire-wide car parking proposal may make matters worse.

People are to be asked for their views on Shropshire Council’s new draft parking strategy. The current charging arrangements were introduced in 2012 and a lot has changed in the intervening five years. The proposals include:

  • ‘Linear’ (set price per hour) parking, pricing bands, unrestricted parking, evening parking, loading bays and ‘pop and shop’ parking.
  • A new policy and tariff framework for weekly tickets, season tickets, residents’ off-street permits, and for coach and HGV parking.
  • Changes to Shropshire’s Council’s on-street residents’ parking permit scheme.
  • Changes to the car parking waiver system.

Each of these proposals will have stand-alone consultations. Clearly, some of these options will not apply in Much Wenlock but there are changes proposed for the town.Fullscreen capture 12-Jul-17 92144 AMI urge you to respond both in respect of changes that would be proposed to affect residents of and visitors to Much Wenlock; and how parking elsewhere in the county will affect drivers from Much Wenlock. Modern, cashless, methods of payment are included in the proposals.

The proposals are extensive and there is not sufficient space here to set them out.  Suffice to say, one hour’s parking in St Mary’s Lane and Falcons Court car parks is proposed to be 50p compared to the 90p current charge.  Three hours would be cheaper than at present.

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The “linear” charging proposal means that longer stays in these and in the less popular New Road car park will be more expensive than the current regime.

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Back Lane car park is the only one that visitors to the town see as they drive into the High Street. Currently waiting is limited to one hour, Monday to Saturday. The proposal, whilst expensive, would mean that visitors could park all day, which may have an impact on convenience for shoppers and thus the local economy.Fullscreen capture 12-Jul-17 84933 AM

In summary, the proposed off-street car parking charges per hour in Much Wenlock are:

St Mary’s Lane – 50p

Falcons Court – 50p

New Road – 30p

Back Lane – 70p

I will write separately about season tickets and other aspects of the proposals in due course.

During the consultation period, Shropshire Council intends to set up information stands in many towns including Much Wenlock. The consultation will available on-line on Shropshire Council’s website and in the library until mid-September.

The consultation not only seeks your comments on the proposals, but also any alternative suggestions that you might have. Of course, you may have observations about how the proposed strategy might affect Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth or other towns that many of us visit.

* Health warning – I have extracted this information from the draft consultation which was approved by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet on 12th July 2017. I have endeavoured to represent it accurately so far as Much Wenlock is concerned, but I urge you to refer to the official consultation document when you make your comments.

Waiting restrictions in Much Wenlock (2)

The recent consultation about parking restrictions, and loading and Blue Badge bays, attracted several comments. Some were supportive and a number provided constructive comments about how the proposals might be improved. With that in mind, some of the proposals are to be amended and further consultation will take place – probably during August.

436 bus turning round at Queen Street, Much Wenlock, 5th July 2016

Queen Street Much Wenlock

Look out for further information in the library, at the Town Council and on Shropshire Council’s website. I will again deliver a letter to properties and businesses directly affected in these streets when the consultation period starts.

Waiting restrictions in Much Wenlock

There has been a lot of discussion about how best to manage on-street parking in Much Wenlock. With 120-plus car park spaces and a Pop & Shop scheme that enables shoppers to park in our four Shropshire Council car parks for fifteen minutes free of charge, there shouldn’t be a problem. Nonetheless, there have been problems, with the streets blocked, property and footways damaged, and pedestrians put at risk.

I have walked the town’s streets with the highways engineers and the head of parking enforcement, I’ve discussed the problem with Town Councillors and our local police team and I’ve had lots of conversations with pedestrians, motorists, residents and traders. There is now a consultation underway about proposals for High Street – where a disabled (Blue Badge) space will be created, Barrow Street which features a loading bay, Wilmore Street and Sheinton Street. Additionally, it is proposed that there will be no waiting around the bus stop in Queen Street, where bus drivers sometimes struggle to turn round in spite of parked vehicles. We do not wish to jeopardise the bus stopping at our valued shelter.

The formal proposals are here:

Sheinton Street

Queen Street and King Street

Wilmore Street, Barrow Street and High Street

For your convenience I show the planned proposals below:

Sheinton Street

Sheinton Street, Much Wenlock

 

Queen Street and King Street, Much Wenlock

Queen Street and King Street, Much Wenlock

 

High Street, Barrow Street and Wilmore Street, Much Wenlock

High Street, Barrow Street and Wilmore Street, Much Wenlock

Full details of these proposals are in the deposited documents which may be examined during usual office opening hours at The Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, or at Much Wenlock Library. Alternatively they may be viewed at:  www.shropshire.gov.uk/traffic. They have also been advertised in the Shropshire Star and Bridgnorth Journal newspapers on 2nd June.

If you wish to raise an objection, express support or make any other comments about these proposals please send an e-mail to: traffic.engineering@shropshire.gov.uk by 23 June 2016. You may also ring 0345 678 9006 for more information.

Parking in Much Wenlock

Many Much Wenlock businesses will be relying on the Christmas trade in order to thrive. They are working hard to make a success of the festive season, with many shops opening late on Thursday until Christmas. Remember that you can ‘Pop and Shop’ by parking free for a maximum of fifteen minutes in the car parks in New Road, Back Lane, Falcons Court and St Mary’s Lane. If you’re going to park for more than fifteen minutes you must pay the fee from your time of arrival, but this can be as little as 10p at New Road. There is free parking on Sunday.

David Turner


Woodhouse Farm
Wyke
Much Wenlock
TF13 6NZ

01952 728802

david.turner@shropshire.gov.uk
Shropshire Council
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Disclaimer
The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.