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Survey on car parks which are not used
A SURVEY is to be carried out on town car parks after fears they are not being used enough.
Price rises happened in the autumn and charges introduced on the Bridge Street car park – the town’s last remaining free car park.
The survey, to be undertaken following advice from Herefordshire Council, could be used to develop an action plan to get the car parks full again and reduce the level of parking on residential streets such as New Street.
Karen Mitchell, town clerk, has already drawn up a spread sheet for the survey, and councillors are being asked to step forward if they are willing to get involved.
The issue has been discussed as an agenda item at several recent town council meeting, following concerns “that the former ‘free’ car park in Bridge Street had not been well used since the introduction of parking charges and that people working in the town, often on low incomes, were amongst those most affected”.
As a result, “cars were now being parked on side roads and residential streets, often causing hazards and congestion”.
Town councillors are now considering recommending to Herefordshire Council that a new monthly pay option should be introduced for Ledbury’s four town centre car parks of St Katherine’s, Bridge Street, Bye Street and Lawnside Road.
In practice, this would be a monthly instead of a yearly season ticket, with a built-in discount.
Coun Annette Crowe, town councillor and chairman of the Ledbury Traders’ Association said: “If the rate for the monthly pay option is a reduced rate, I would support this.”
Yearly season ticket holders already get a discount of around 50 per cent but must find £300 at the start of the year – a sum of money which Coun Crowe said might not be viable for a low paid person to find as one lump sum.
As part of the same analysis of Ledbury’s car park situation, the town council is also asking Herefordshire Council to provide a comparison of usage, income and expenditure figures for the town centre car parks, from 2011 to the present day.