A plan which Cheshire West and Chester Council says will “ensure parking in Northwich is fit for purpose and positively contributes to the town’s economy” has been published this week.
The plan, designed to better manage car parking demand across the town, is part of the council’s 15-year parking strategy.
The plan will see the council continue to offer free parking options in the town centre along with some new tariffs and other controls, such as length of stay restrictions, implemented across different car parks.
The council says it will provide “a clear investment programme to improve the quality of car parking” which it hopes will attract more visitors and shoppers.
The plans will help to release more short-say capacity in central car parks while encouraging long-stay parking in car parks on the edges of the town.
There will be a reduction in daily tariffs for season pass holders.
Well managed parking facilities in Northwich are important in supporting the numerous regeneration projects in the town.
Surveys into car park usage have shown that the town’s central car parks are being used to full capacity on weekdays and to some extent on Saturdays. This is resulting in traffic queues as people search for a parking space.
The council’s proposals include controls for central and edge-of-town car parks to release capacity for more short-stay shoppers by encouraging long-stay commuters to use the outlying car parks.
Blue badge holders will be able to park for free for up to four hours and borough residents can register for a special micro-chip blue badge for use in some ANPR controlled car parks, as is already the case in Chester.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s cabinet member for environment, Cllr Karen Shore, said: “Over the coming years, the Council needs to invest in car parks so that we have enough clean and safe spaces, in the right places, with clear signage and new technology to make it easier and more convenient for people coming to Northwich town centre by car.
“When this action plan is implemented parking in Northwich will be easier and more accessible for everyone, supporting residents and businesses. Parking charges and other controls will ensure everyone can park where they need to, when they need to.”
She added: “Land available for car parking is decreasing but population and car ownership rates are steadily rising.
“With this action plan for Northwich we are introducing the right controls in the right places to release capacity for short stay parking to boost businesses, encourage visitors and also to improve car park quality.”
Some of the planned parking charges and other controls will be introduced by the end of November 2018.
The proposed new tariffs and controls are as follows:
|Car Park||New tariffs|
|Market, Victoria Club and Watermans||One to two hours = 20p
Three to four hours = 50p
Five to six hours = £1
Seven to ten hours = £3
|Verdin and Memorial Court||One to two hours = 20p
Three to four hours = 50p
Five to six hours = 80p
Seven to eight hours = £1.10
Nine to ten hours = £1.50
(with a three hour free period for leisure centre users at Memorial Court)
|Old Depot Site, Zion St and Park Street||Free|
Investment in maintaining and improving car parks
The council has committed to ensure that:
- car parks are safe and clean
- we have enough parking for people with mobility problems
- we have good signage
- we use new technology to make visits easier and flexible
A programme of quality improvement works is planned to start October 2018.
- Lighting and CCTV improvements to improve driver safety and the users’ experience, particularly after dark
- Signage within car parks and on streets (including up-to-date information on availability) to assist visitors
- The introduction of new technology offering a range of payment methods, including cards and phones
- Improving the size, quality and number of spaces for drivers with mobility issues.
Public notices will be published shortly regarding the introduction of parking tariffs and controls at Northwich’s council-run car parks, and representations can be made during the subsequent statutory consultation period.
The full action plan can be found on the council’s website.