Car Parks Update
The FODDC officers and Cabinet continue to meet with representatives of our Towns in order to assist the best recovery from Covid-19 for our High Streets. All starting from government guidelines this is still a fluid and changing action plan that adapts as we find opportunities and issues.
There has been some discussion over the car parking charges and management that was announced last week. While obviously always a contentious issue, there has been some welcoming of the free short term parking bays and the implementation of free Saturdays until September. The continued free parking for NHS workers and registered care workers has also been welcomed. The towns and traders have however suggested the 15 minutes free parking is perhaps not long enough given social distancing and queuing regulations in place. With that in mind the Cabinet has decided to extend that time on a trial basis - meaning five parking spaces in each town will be free for 30 mins.
- Free Parking on Saturdays until September 1st
- 5 free short term parking bays per town, up to 30 minutes to be installed
- Install the Parking App for contactless payments: https://www.mipermit.com/
Car Parking is as stated a contentious issue with the costs of running the car parks outweighing the return from charges. This cost is then placed on every Council Tax payer in the Forest of Dean - whether they use the car parks or not.
The Cabinet therefore will undertake a root and branch review into the car parks and their management and costs. Such are the financial pressures on the Council, it simply cannot continue to subsidise the costs of car parking and every option will be looked at. This review will give those Town councils who contend that the parks should be free, the opportunity to share their ideas on how to achieve that or even acquire ownership of the car parks from FODDC.
It is agreed that the investigation will begin once the pressures of Covid-19 are truly relaxed and key officers are able to become involved. We suspect this will be in the late summer or early autumn.