Councillors in Wednesbury were considering “free” parking to compensate for long-running redevelopment work at the beginning of the week, then quickly removed charges from one car park. ukparking view: “free” parking is never free; the land and maintenance are always paid for by someone. It is very difficult politically to remove. The works include making the pedestrianised area larger, and encouraging people to drive to this seems counter-productive. Supporting those who can already get to the area without a car to use it would be more useful. The car park they have chosen is a long-stay car park, and opening up free long-stay parking is particularly unhelpful, as this tends to attract workers early in the morning and remain full during the day, leaving no space for the shoppers the provision was intended to attract.
In Southampton, a driver attempted to evade payment by lifting a barrier and caused an estimated £4,000 of damage. ukparking view: The police response seems a bit odd here, as they talk about her being liable for the cost but don’t mention criminal charges. The £4,000 damage estimate seems surprisingly high – the barriers are typically not that expensive (although the system as a whole may well be much more expensive) and are usually designed to be easy to repair in case they are hit by vehicles.
A motorist has faced abuse for parking over two spaces – but the spaces are both included on the lease for her flat.
Shop workers’ union USDAW has called for a review of parking charges as part of measures they believe will help rescue town centre shops.
Schools frequently suffer from parking problems and two very different attempts to solve the problem have been in the news: Buckley, in Flintshire, are replacing a field with a car park despite concerns from ramblers that a public footpath running through the site had been ignored; in Brighton, a school street will remove traffic from the road, as part of a School Streets programme that received 80% support in a consultation earlier this year.