The council is proposing to introduce new parking schemes to help meet income generation targets and positively impact on parking issues in the district.
There are currently five off-street car parking areas that are free of charge. Changing these to pay and display with an hourly charge, in line with other areas, will help the council achieve a balanced budget amidst the £2m reduction in central government funding and help it meet its 2017/2018 income generation targets.
Leopold Street multi-storey, Mill Lane multi-storey, Harold Road car park and Vere Road car park will remain free on Saturdays. Due to popular demand, the Mill Lane multi-storey car park in Margate has extended its opening hours to 11:30pm during the summer months *.
There are also a number of on-street parking areas around the district where the council is proposing a resident parking scheme/pay and display zones. Charging ensures that on street spaces turn-over at an appropriate rate as motorists need to return to their vehicle at set times. Additional income generated will be used to help maintain our current parking stock and ensure we can invest in future technological solutions like automated number plate registrations car park entry, solar power ticket machines and smart parking signs.
These proposals, which include marking out parking bays in priority areas, will help address the issues of inconsiderate parking for residents, improve pedestrian safety and encourage traffic flow. The proposals will allow for disabled badge holders to park within any pay and display bay by using their blue badge.
Gavin Waite, Director of Operational Services said: “Balancing the budget is a key council priority and, as part of this, we have been reviewing how we can be more efficient at generating income, and not simply cut services to residents. There has been an extensive review of parking provision and demands across the district with members making the difficult decision to increase parking charges and now to explore introducing pay and display and new resident parking schemes.
“The proposed areas have been selected based on feedback from residents and business about heavily parked areas and traffic flows. Introducing these schemes would ensure a higher turnover of vehicles to ease parking problems and encourage road users to use off-street car parks that would benefit many of the people who live and work in Thanet.”
The proposals go to Cabinet on the 27 April. If Cabinet approves these recommendations, residents and businesses will have 28 days in which to make comment on the schemes and express their views.
The proposed changes will be phased, with phase one expected to be implemented in June. Phases two and three are intended to be implemented over the next 12 to 18 months.
*Summer months are from 1st April to 31st September