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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Proposal to bring in on-street parking fees in Cumbria deemed ‘foolish’

QUESTIONS over a proposal to introduce on-street parking charges were raised at a full meeting of Cumbria County Council.

Conservative councillor John Mallinson asked council leader Stewart Young when the “foolish proposal” would be dropped.

The Cumbria County Council initiative aims to raise £700,000 to offset dwindling levels of local authority funding.

The plans would see ticket machines installed at a host of new locations across Cumbria, including Barrow town centre and on the streets of Ambleside.

Councillor Young said: “This is a controversial proposal. It’s never popular to introduce a charge where no charge existed before. It’s never going to be the case that the public will welcome with open arms a policy like this.”

Sandy Houston has run Bright Ideas in Cavendish Street, Barrow, for 32 years.

He said: “I think it’s a short sighted move. Where we are I see people going round and round looking for on street parking because they don’t want to pay for off-street car parks.

“These are crazy proposals. I can’t see how it could be possible in any way to argue that this could have a positive, or even neutral effect – it is going to be negative.”

Councillor Helen Fearon told the Kendal meeting: “The cost of enforcement is less than the money you are hoping to make.”

Keith Little, portfolio holder for highways, said: “The cost of overall monitoring and enforcement will be up to the local committees. It will be up to them to set what the charges will be.”

Cllr Young told fellow councillors that Westminster Council raises more from car park charging than it receives from the government.

Other proposals include a £20 fee for residents’ parking permits.

The on-street pay meters, along with new resident parking permit charges, were agreed in the council’s 2014/15 budget to save £24.4m in the face of huge government cuts.

The council calculated that on-street parking county-wide will generate £350,000 in the first year and £700,000 afterwards, while resident permit charges will generate £250,000 each year. A one-off £280,000 was budgeted to install ticket machines and infrastructure.

Have your say

At least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask do they not understand why the shops in Barrow town centre struggle people with cars are a easy target.

Posted by Graham Park on 25 April 2014 at 23:43

How much will it cost for people who reside outside of the town centre to park in their area? Nothing and what's more most will be able to park right in front of their own house. Even with a permit I need to drive round and round to find a parking space in permit holders bay as there is not one on my block. People from out of town can park in front of my house for an hour and they want me pay £20 for the privelage

Posted by Elaine on 25 April 2014 at 21:05

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