Car parking charges explained
Flintshire County Council's Joint Corporate Resources and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be asked to recommend approval to Cabinet of the revised car parking charges and to recommend a start date for charges to be introduced in Flint when it meets on 15 March.
Car parking charging levels have not been reviewed since their introduction in April 2015 and the income generated does not meet the full cost of managing and operating the car parks. Even with the proposed new charges, the cost of parking in Flintshire remains low compared to neighbouring counties. For example, three hours in Denbigh is £1.50, all day in Ruthin and Llangollen is £7 whereas most town centre car parks in Flintshire will charge £1.50 all day.
Flintshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Transportation, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:
"We are living in difficult times and raising charges in the car parks is always going to be a contentious issue. All Councils are in a similar position and from comparative research, Flintshire's car park charges are lower than in other towns and cities. We are only seeking to recover costs of maintaining the car parks â€“ we are not making any profit out of car parking."
Research has been carried out on the County's car parks and this shows that charges have not impacted on car parking usage, in fact the levels of use have actually increased, or are above projected levels, in six towns over the past two years. The exception is Connah's Quay where there is extensive off-street parking.
The charges remain slightly higher in Mold because the town receives a high number of visitors, to reflect this, a percentage of the increased charge will be invested in visitor infrastructure improvements working with Mold Town Council.
Councillor Thomas continued:
"The total cost of managing and maintaining the car parks is £886,000 a year and this would be recovered by the proposed charges. This would result in the car parking service being cost neutral and achieving full cost recovery providing an income for car park maintenance and help manage the provision and turnover of spaces for visitors to town centres."
Proposals put forward by the Scrutiny Committee in January have been incorporated into this new charging scheme, including a 30 minute reduced charge to allow short visits, comparable to the charge in similar towns in Denbighshire, with longer stay costs in other car parks in Chester, Denbighshire and Wrexham significantly higher than those proposed in Flintshire.
Some car parks in Holywell will in future allow multi-visits on a single ticket and there are no plans to raise the car parking charges currently in Talacre as the rates charged there are already above those charged elsewhere in the county due to the location and the number of spaces available.
If agreed, the new charging arrangements will be advertised in each car park during April 2018, including Flint, and will come into effect in all car parks from 14 May 2018.