Review into car parking in Huntingdonshire finds value for money is a key issue for public

Princes Street Car Park, Huntingdon

Princes Street Car Park, Huntingdon - Credit: Archant

Concerns over value for money from parking charges led to the highest levels of dissatisfaction from drivers in a new review of parking carried out by Huntingdonshire District Council.

But drivers put the convenience of car parks at the top of the list of parking requirements in the district.

The parking review is being drawn up by the council after it did a U-turn last year on a proposed hike in charges in Huntingdon, St Neots and St Ives.

The rise was withdrawn after an angry response from residents and a full-scale review of parking was launched instead.

Now the latest step in the review will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s overview and scrutiny panel on Thursday (October 5).

A report to councillors said that 1,177 people took part in the survey.

Overall satisfaction with the council’s car parks was good but drivers remained concerned about charges.

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The report said: “Value for money: This measure records the highest levels of dissatisfaction but users placed this second in the hierarchy for selecting a car park, so should be reviewed.”

Drivers across the district also called for wider bays for all vehicles but car park security was considered less of a concern.

There was demand for more cashless payment options, although current take-up was low where available, which the review considered to be a potential awareness issue.

The council did not want to comment on the report until it had been considered by its cabinet.

It has taken almost a year to reach this stage but the review could be complete by the end of the year.

The report showed that more than 75 per cent of car park users who responded came from the local post code area and used the car parks at least monthly, with a high proportion using them on a weekly basis.

But the report also showed that the average length of stay was low, with most stays being of two hours or less.

The proposed increase in charges which was called off were described as “extremely competitive” by the council and would have seen a rise of 20p in short stay car parks and 30p long stay.