Car parking charges were introduced at the two car parks on the Greenway in July 2016 following consideration of the matter by Cabinet and Full Council.
A report by the Warwickshire Observatory evaluated displacement parking arising from the Seven Meadows car park. The report concludes that there is no significant/measurable effect.
Parking displacement was one of the key concerns expressed by local residents, who felt that implementation of car park charging would result in displacement parking into nearby residential streets. The Observatory report contains analysis of the ‘beat surveys’ undertaken pre and post implementation and confirms that there is no discernible displacement effect attributable to the introduction of charges.
Parking charges were implemented at both Greenway car parks in July 2016. Signage informed visitors of the change, and that annual permits could be purchased. Pay and display machines were installed along with refreshed entrance and new pay and display signage. Ranger staff have been monitoring honesty rates and these have been generally good with informal reminders issued to date, rather than formal enforcement. If however there are found to be ‘repeat non payers’, enforcement action will be instigated.
Income from the new arrangements has been in line with projections (based upon 50 pence for the first hour and rising by 50 pence to a maximum of £3.00 agreed by Cabinet/full Council). Income in of excess of £20k is anticipated for the first year of operation. It is noted that income has been suppressed by repeated sabotage of one of the pay and display machines. This has been addressed through CCTV operations in conjunction with the police, and has subsequently abated.
Signage on site, and via country parks web pages, has informed customers that all income received is reinvested in the upkeep of the facilities. This being the case, there has been a surprisingly muted reaction to the introduction of charges by Greenway users, verifying the proposition that visitors arriving in a vehicle expect to pay reasonable parking charges, whilst regular users will avail themselves of good value permits. As with other country parks sites, it is anticipated that permit sales will gradually increase.
It is clear from the evaluation that there is no significant impact on usage of the Greenway, or displacement parking effect attributable to the introduction of parking charges. As experienced at other recreation sites that are free at the point of access, users arriving in a vehicle are not generally averse to meeting a reasonable parking charge, when it is understood that the revenue generated supports the amenity.
For more information contact Paula Cheesman, Country Parks Manager, 01827 872660