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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 05/02/2008
Appendix C.1 - Car Parking Tariffs Review



Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report is to review the fees and charges in the Council’s off-street Pay and Display car parks. The changes proposed are intended to assist in the continued effective management of the Council’s car parks. It is estimated that significant additional income will be generated.

APPENDIX C.1
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 5TH FEBRUARY 2008

Title:

CAR PARKING TARIFFS REVIEW
[Portfolio Holder for Finance: Cllr M H W Band]
[Portfolio Holder for Car Parks: Cllr D C Inman]
[Wards Affected: All]

Summary and purpose

The purpose of this report is to review the fees and charges in the Council’s off-street Pay and Display car parks. The changes proposed are intended to assist in the continued effective management of the Council’s car parks. It is estimated that significant additional income will be generated.

Environmental implications:

There are environmental benefits achieved from the careful management of the Council’s car parks, including reduced pollution, noise levels and use of natural resources.

Social / community implications:

The prudent management of the Council’s parking stock through carefully structured tariffs can influence the retail and social vitality of the town centres and their economy, the level of traffic movement and congestion and the funds available to support other services that benefit the whole community.

E-Government implications:

Information on revised fees and charges will be posted on the Council’s web site.

Resource and legal implications

Public notices will need to be posted in local newspapers and in each car park giving Notice of Amendment to the Waverley Borough Council Off-Street Parking Places Order. There will be resource implications in the publishing of notices, production and posting of revised tariff boards, and the re-programming of Pay and Display machines, that will be met from the Car Park Revenue Budget. The financial implications arising from the proposed tariff changes are detailed in the report.

Introduction

1. Waverley’s Car Park Strategy includes the setting of car park charges to assist with effective management of the Council’s car parks.
2. The parking tariffs are carefully structured across the designated short (prime-sites and town-centre), medium and long-term car parks, to make it more economic for long-stay car park users to use medium and long-term car parks, so releasing the town-centre short-stay spaces for the ready availability and regular turnover of shoppers and other short-stay needs. This maximises both the space available and the income generated from short-stay use and reduces avoidable traffic movements by commuters in the town centres.

3. The last comprehensive review of car park charges took place during 2003, effective from 1st December 2003, with income being increased by 300,000. A further 265,000 was generated with the redesignation of some car parks from 1st January 2005. Relatively minor adjustments to the tariffs have been made during the past two years.

4. Over the past year, operational problems have increased at peak times, particularly following the introduction of effective On-Street Enforcement. A comprehensive review of car park charges is therefore required.

Prime-Site Car Parks

5. Central Car Park, Farnham
Lower Hart, Farnham
6. The charges at these car parks reflect their particularly attractive locations and are designed to manage the demand and encourage high turnover to ensure parking availability. In all cases cheaper parking is available in alternative car parks nearby. 7. The charge for prime-sites was increased to 60p per hour on 1st December 2003. Use has steadily increased over the last four years and there are now management problems, with these car parks operating at maximum capacity for much of the day. Although a high level of use is of course welcome, it is not helpful to the public or to traders if no space is available and it is harmful to the environment if users have to queue or search for spaces. 8. Long-stay users occupy a significant number of spaces in some of these car parks and it is unlikely that an increase to 70p per hour will provide a sufficient differential to discourage this. It is, therefore, recommended that the charge for the first hour be increased to 70p; the charge for the second hour to 80p; and the charge beyond the second hour to 1 per hour. It is estimated that this pricing structure will produce total additional income of 160,000; approximately 50,000 of this figure should primarily arise from additional turnover of spaces, rather than payment of the higher charge beyond the second hour.




9. Although in text the proposals appear complicated, the tariffs as displayed within the car parks will be: 1-hour 70; 2-hours 1.50; 3-hours 2.50; 4-hours 3.50; 5-hours 4.50; 6-hours 5.50; etc. This is a simple structure that can readily be understood, will minimise the number of coins required and directly promotes the objectives of the car park strategy. Many authorities already use this approach to discourage longer-stay in premium car parks.

Town-Centre Car Parks

10. South Street, Farnham
11. The charge at High Street Haslemere was changed to 50p per hour from 1st January 2005, with Crown Court Godalming and South Street Farnham following a year later.

12. As with the prime-sites, use has increased significantly and Crown Court and Haslemere High Street particularly have been affected by on-street enforcement, with similar problems with capacity now being experienced in these car parks. 13. It is recommended that the charge for town-centre car parks be increased to 60p per hour. It is estimated that this will generate an additional 100,000 in 2008/2009.

Medium-Term Car Parks

14. There is usually no specific problem regarding capacity within Waverley’s medium-term car parks. However, the current charge of 40p for 45minutes, 70p for 2-hours, 1 for 3-hours and 50p per hour thereafter is somewhat complex; and a change to an hourly charge would bring greater transparency that the charges were lower than for the prime-sites and other town-centre car parks.

15. It is recommended the charging structure at all medium-term car parks be changed to 50p per hour. This would offer better value for those users who currently purchase the 45-minute ticket, many of whom may be expected to take advantage of the full hour to the benefit of local trade. Additionally, users who require one hour will be able to purchase this for 50p, rather than 70p under the existing structure. It is difficult to predict the effect on income because of different usage patterns across car parks; for some car parks the proposals will be cost-neutral, while for other car parks income is likely to increase significantly. It is estimated that overall income from the medium-term car parks may increase by some 90,000.

16. It is recommended that a reduced-rate all-day charge be retained at Chestnut Avenue (3.50), Stocklund Square and Village Way (3).
Long-Stay Car Parks 17. It is proposed that tariffs remain unchanged for most of the Long-Stay car parks in order to promote their use by commuters and workers in preference to ‘shoppers’ car parks. The exceptions are Weydown Road and Tanners Lane, Haslemere and North Street, Farncombe. In view of the very strong demand for use of these car parks an increase of the all-day charge to 3.50 is recommended. This should generate an additional 20,000. However, the short-stay ‘shoppers’ charge will be held at current levels for these car parks.

Season Tickets

18. Season Tickets are set at a 10% discount to the daily rates based on an 8-hour day and a 5-day week. The figures at Annexe allow for the prices of Season Tickets to be increased in line with the proposed increases to the daily rates. However, a special rate will continue to be offered at Crown Court where the proposed charge is 900 representing a total discount of nearly 30%. Based on current sales, an additional 24,000 will be generated from Season Tickets.

Contract Parking

19. Contract Parking provides a guaranteed space, which, unlike season tickets, is not available for pay and display parking when not in use. It is therefore appropriate for the tariff to take account of this. Currently, Contract Parking is offered at 900pa. It is proposed that the charge for Contract Parking should be increased by 10% to 990pa for 2008-2009 in order to retain a reasonable differential over the new Season Ticket rates. This should generate an additional 5,500.

Evening Charging

20. Currently, parking in Waverley’s car parks is free after 6pm. Increasingly, many shops and supermarkets are open beyond this time, joined by restaurants opening in the evening catering for an affluent clientele.

21. Initial consideration has been given to extending the charging period to 8pm in all car parks. However, it is recommended that this possibility should be examined in detail during the forthcoming year, with a view to possible changes with effect from 1st April 2009.

Penalty Charges

22. Waverley will be required to change its Penalty Charges relating to both Off-Street Parking and On-Street Enforcement in line with new national legislation from 31st March 2008. The details are set out within Annexe 1. The most significant change for Waverley is that the initial charge for nearly all contraventions within car parks will reduce from 60 to 50. It is estimated that income from Penalty Charges will reduce by some 40,000 as a result of this change.

Civil Parking Enforcement

23. Changes to the Council’s management of both on-street and off-street parking enforcement must be implemented on 31st March 2008 to comply with the new parking enforcement legislation which introduces Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) to replace Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE). Details of the key changes are set out at Annexe 2.

Resource Implications

24. An illustration of the revenue implications of tariff changes detailed for each car park is contained at Annexe 1. The overall net increase in income is estimated to be 360,000, which compares with the figure of 300,000 provisionally allowed for within the 2008-2009 Budget projections. A period of six weeks notice is required for officers to advertise and execute tariff changes. It is anticipated that revised tariffs could be introduced from 31st March 2008, subject to approval through the Council. The date of 31st March has been put forward for operational reasons, as this is a Monday.

25. The Audit Commission has raised the need for Waverley to obtain a fair return on its considerable car park assets. The Director of Finance considers that the proposals in this report represent the appropriate balance in achieving this.

26. A sum of 5,000 is provided annually in the Revenue Estimates for Car Parks, specifically for the cost of tariff changes. The costs of advertising, revised tariff boards and reprogramming of machines can be contained within that sum.

Conclusion

27. The proposed revision to the parking fees and charges will improve the operation of specific car parks where problems have arisen as a result of existing charges no longer being appropriate. The categories of car parks are reviewed every year, but not changes to these are proposed for 2008/2009.

28. All of the changes comply with the objectives of the Car Parking Strategy.

Recommendation

It is recommended that

1. the Executive recommends to the Council that parking charges be revised in accordance with the proposals itemised at Annexe 1 with effect from 31st March 2008;

2. the Director of Leisure and Regulation, in consultation with the Head of Legal and Estates Services, be authorised to make an Amendment Order to The Waverley Borough Council (Off-Street Parking Places) (Consolidation) Order 2007 to comply with the provisions of the Traffic Management Act 2004 (Part 6) incorporating the changes required under the Act and those arising from the February 2008 Tariffs Review; and

3. the Executive approves the adoption of Band 2 for the parking contravention differential Penalty Charges as defined by the Secretary of State for Transport which will initially be; Higher Level Penalty Charge 70; Lower Level Penalty Charge 50.

Background Papers (DoLR)

Waverley’s Car Parking Strategy; The Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (Guidelines on Levels of Charges) Order 2007.

CONTACT OFFICERS:

Name: Mr Brian Long Telephone: 01483 523253
E-mail: blong@waverley.gov.uk

Mr Paul Frame Telephone: 01483 523322
E-mail: pframe@waverley.gov.uk

Mr Robin Ellks Telephone: 01483 523411
E-mail: rellks@waverley.gov.uk

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