Walking and cycling is the way to ease pressure on parking in Newport, according to the town’s Mayor.
Councillor Peter Scott thinks more people should ditch their cars in favour of walking into town instead of driving, freeing up spaces for people who need them the most: the elderly and the disabled.
There have been many complaints over recent years about pressure on spaces in town, especially at peak times around schools.
Councillor Scott said: "It's healthy, free, easy to do and most of us can do it. You can lose weight too.
"Let's leave the car park spaces for those really need them: the elderly and the disabled.
"Parents can park on Shuker Close or the Rugby Club and walk your children into school.
"If we made the leap to try walking more, it might surprise you. Make the time and give it a try."
"Multi-storey car parks, park and rides and underground parking just aren't going to happen," he said. "Walking and cycling are the answers. It's not suitable for everyone, but more could do it. Be part of the solution."
Short stay parking changes are on the way for Stafford Street car park. New ticket machines will be put in place this summer and those using the short stay section will need to get a free ticket, however, if they stay over their time limit there will be a fine.
A similar scheme was started in Wellington last year and has been a success. It is now hoped that the ticketing machine will improve the turnover of shoppers in Newport.
It is hoped that the new ticket machines in Newport will help provide better parking in town. The aim is a result of a partnership between Telford & Wrekin Council, Newport Town Council, Market Traders and the Chamber of Commerce. Funding is secured from Ni Park Town Centre improvements package.
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Better Management of Parking
Newport Town Council stated: “It is hoped that the machines will ensure that short stay car parking spaces are used in a more efficient way and will provide a welcome boost to the Town centre economy, resulting in more customers’ being able to visit Newport Town centre.”
They said that machines being enforced in the short stay section of the car park will allow for Enforcement Officers to effectively manage this car park and monitor the three-hour time limit.
“Without the free tickets, the only way to enforce is to take a record of tyre valve positions during two observations three hours apart– this means that a number of vehicles could exploit the time limits and therefore the turnover of vehicles would not be achieved. This is a positive step to ensure the vitality of Newport town centre is maintained.”
"We're very fortunate in Newport to have free parking and that's something we're insisting will always be the case," Councillor Carter said.
"People don't understand but in the conservation area in Newport, we can't build multi-storey car parks.
"Free parking with tickets was a really radical change for Wellington. When you used to go on market day, you couldn't find anywhere to park. People would park, get the train and go all over the country.
"In Newport we don't have a railway station but we do have a very good bus service. People have been catching the bus to Stafford or Telford, and leaving very few parking spaces available for other people."
Ludlow Residents ‘Unable’ to Buy Parking Permits
Ludlow residents say they have not been able to buy parking permits where they live.
Councillor Andy Boddington has been exploring the issue which has come to light in certain areas of Ludlow.
Shropshire Council adopted a new MiPermit service, however, it has not come without teething issues. Councillor Boddington said that some people have told him that their address is not on the system and they have been denied a permit.
He said: “I have received several complaints from town centre residents who cannot obtain on-street parking permits for the zone in which they live. Residents ring MiPermit, the Shropshire Council contractor to deliver parking charges.”
“They are then told their property is not on the database and they are denied a permit. This hasn’t happened before. Residents would simply contact the council, supply proof they lived at a property, pay a fee and the permit was in the post.”
“But if you live in some addresses on Broad Street, Corve Street, Lower Galdeford, Market Street and other streets you are now denied a permit.”
He added: “The cause of the problem seems to be that Shropshire Council has changed from the common sense approach of using council tax records as a proof of residence to the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG).
“Internet sources suggest that this gazetteer is maintained by local councils. But how can that be when many council tax payers’ properties are excluded from the LLPG?”
“This is something of a mystery to me but I have asked officers to explain what is happening.”
Councillor Boddington is encouraging residents to get in contact with him directly if you have had a problem with on-street or other permits by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I want to build up a list of properties denied permits so that this policy can be challenged.”
Parking Charges Signal Drop in Trade in Ludlow
In August, Ludlow Town Council has claimed that the town has seen an 18 percent drop in trade since new parking charges were introduced.
Councillor Viv Parry said that the authority had “drastically miscalculated” the impact the charges would have on the town.
The Lib Dem councillor said: “A recent survey by the town council has indicated that trade in Ludlow may be down by as much as 18 per cent since the Conservative administration increased parking charges across the county.
“Shropshire Council has drastically miscalculated the impact their charging will have on Ludlow.
“We are small town of 10,000 plus people but with thousands more coming in town for daily or weekly shopping from the surrounding countryside.
“We have had a thriving market and around 70-plus independent businesses in the town centre.
“High parking charges put off both local shoppers and visitors from outside our areas.
“Virtually everyone told Shropshire Council that this would be the case but they did not listen.
“All of the Lib Dem councillors for the Ludlow area are committed to remedying this situation.”