You may remember that the Chamber included an article in its December newsletter about complaints regarding the lack of car parking in town for local businesses. It was suggested that insufficient parking was having a detrimental effect for businesses and their employees who have offices close to the town centre. The question of whether it might be possible to introduce parking permits specifically for business was subsequently raised by Frank Lauriello, our Marketing Coordinator with Telford Council Highways. We have received the following reply for member’s attention. If members wish to respond to this by attending a meeting with Telford Highways please let Frank Lauriello know.
Dear Mr Lauriello
Thank you for your email. I accept that there is a need to provide continued access to Wellington town centre in order to encourage shoppers, leisure activities and to provide parking for those working in the town centre in turn promoting overall economic activity. To help achieve this, we seek to create a balance between the numbers and location of short stay and long stay parking spaces to ensure shoppers and visitors to facilities such as the medical centre and leisure centre are not prevented from parking close to the centre of Wellington due to vehicles parking for long periods of time.
The opportunity for provision of additional parking capacity in Wellington is limited at this time due to resources and availability of suitable land. The introduction of short stay parking spaces at Swimming Pool West, Swimming Pool East, Nailors Row and Victoria Road North car parks was taken in 2012 in conjunction with the Town Council and Chamber of Commerce to help provide turnover of spaces nearest to the town centre to cater for shoppers and other visitors accessing facilities on a short term basis. My Service Delivery Manager Keith Harris has also attended the Chamber of Commerce since the changes have been in place to discuss any issues. An extensive consultation exercise was undertaken prior to implementing these changes to gauge the views of businesses, workers, the public. As you would expect, a wide range of views were expressed, for instance some people asked for a greater number of short stay spaces and some asked for fewer. People also wanted the short and long stay spaces to be located in different areas. In response to the consultation a number of changes to the proposals were made prior to implementing the current arrangement.
To ensure the above aims are met, duration of stay is enforced on the short stay car parks. Alternative long stay parking is available within a short walk of all short stay car parks at Tan Bank, Ten Tree Croft, Victoria Road South and Wrekin Road car parks for the use of workers and other users who need to park for longer than three hours. At this stage there are no plans to make any further changes to the restrictions currently in place in Wellington.
In terms of providing permits for businesses, we would not currently look to include a permit scheme for workers to park in the short stay car parks due to the likely impact on the number of short stay spaces available for users of the town centre. If permits were provided, the reduction in short stay parking spaces would likely in turn affect the businesses in the town due to it being much harder for customers to park to use the businesses. It is also noted that providing such a permit scheme would require investment to implement and manage and at this stage funding is not available to manage such a service. As such if a scheme were to be implemented at some point in the future, alternative funding options may need to be considered.
Network Management – Traffic Management & Streetworks Officer
Transport & Highways Development
Telford & Wrekin Council