Huntingdonshire’s car parks in focus for council-backed review

PUBLISHED: 07:47 21 April 2017 | UPDATED: 07:47 21 April 2017

Riverside car park, in St Neots, will be among the car parks  reviewed as part of the report.

Riverside car park, in St Neots, will be among the car parks reviewed as part of the report.

Archant

An extensive review to determine the future of car parking in Huntingdonshire could get under way in the next few months, according to a council report.

Huntingdonshire District Council has published a report which sets out its plan for a fresh parking assessment after it abandoned a proposed increase in car park charges last year.

In the report, the council published a timeline for an in-depth assessment of provision for all the authority’s car parks, along with on-street parking and residents permits.

A member of the council’s overview and scrutiny panel, which met on April 6, said: “The origins of the project may have started with a report on car park charges, however, there is now a good opportunity for members to look at car parks in a holistic way.”

The report, by head of operations Nigel Sloper, highlighted the council’s lack of evidence to account for any increase of fees following its proposal in October last year.

Within the document it states that the council had no agreed vision for the role of car park management and operation, no clear evidence base on user requirements, preference or need, and that future fees and charges need to be developed using an evidence base.

Under the council’s original plans, rates could have risen by 20p in short stay car parks and 30p for long stay parking. However, the proposal was dropped after receiving a number of negative responses from the public to a planned consultation.

As a part of the new four-stage review, the council will meet with interested parties, along with trying to understand customers’ needs and any potential future requirements for car parking for new developments.

This was backed by members of the overview and scrutiny panel who also advised the portfolio holder, Councillor Jim White, to look at neighbouring authorities and car parks owned by other companies in the district.

The review will also look at car park standards and disabled parking provision, however, it was noted within the report that the setting of charges will not take place until after the district-wide review has taken place.

The report was due to go before the authority’s cabinet last night (Thursday) for approval.

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