Nothing ‘off the table’ as district council completes car park review

The Chequers Court development and car park in Huntingdon.

The Chequers Court development and car park in Huntingdon. - Credit: Archant

Charges will not be the driving force behind a review of parking in Huntindonshire, a senior councillor has said.

Councillor Jim White, executive councillor for operations, whose role covers parking, said nothing was off the table while the council draws up its strategy.

Huntingdonshire District Council has completed the first stage in the review following responses from more than 1,000 people and is in the process of completing the scheme.

It launched a full-scale review of parking in Huntingdon, St Neots and St Ives following an outcry after plans to increase charges were announced in 2016.

Cllr White said: “We must be absolutely clear this is not just going to be a look at car parking charges.”

He said the aim was to bring in a new strategy which met long-term objectives designed to boost economic growth in the district, to help local business and be supported by people who used parking facilities.

Cllr White said the results of the survey had given the council a sense of direction it needed to be going in, but added: “Nothing has been taken off the table.

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“It is not a quick fix. We want to get it right now and I would like to see 99.9 per cent of residents satisfied with the end product.”

He said prices were not the key issue and that value for money had to be part of the solution.

In the survey, residents said overall satisfaction with the council’s car parks was good, but concern remained about the level of charges.

Value for money gave the highest level of dissatisfaction but the survey showed that drivers put this below the ease of selecting a car park.

They also called for wider bays for vehicles and cashless payment options.

Most of those who responded to the survey lived locally, with many using the car parks on a weekly basis - but the report also showed a relatively short stay of two hours or less.

Since the review started there has been growing concern about congestion in Huntingdon’s main town centre car park following the opening of a new shopping area.

Resident Keith Moody said there was also a problem getting out of the Sainsbury’s car park because of congestion and it had taken him half an hour to leave on a Wednesday evening.