Revised Plans For Car Parking Fares In Poole

6 December 2016, 06:34 | Updated: 6 December 2016, 07:32

Revised plans for changing car parking fares in Poole will be considered by council leaders.

Proposals to charge near beaches and at some parks were scrapped after a big backlash from local people.

Instead, the council's looking at extending on-street charges during the summer at busy areas like Sandbanks and some roads near the harbour.

But protesters are expected at the civic centre this evening, still unhappy at the plans.

In June 2016 Poole's Cabinet voted not to progress with the existing proposals to charge for parking near to beaches and in some parks in their current form following an extensive public consultation. However the council agreed to consider in greater detail the concerns raised through the public consultations and identify any measures that could be introduced, where possible, to reduce the impact on the local community and for these findings to be presented back to Cabinet late autumn.

The revised proposals include extending the on-street pay and display parking scheme during the peak season only to those areas most congested such as the Sandbanks peninsula and some sections of minor roads immediately adjacent to the harbour. This means that these additional roads will only be subject to a charge from 1 March to 31 October each year with most residential roads remaining free of a parking charge all year round.

Blue Badge holders will not be affected by the proposals as they can continue to park for free in on-street beach pay and display bays in Poole.

Councillor Drew Mellor, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transportation, Borough of Poole, said: 

"This summer has clearly demonstrated that road congestion caused by the demand for car parking spaces around beaches is a problem during the high season.

"We have listened to the public's views and are now considering a much smaller scale extension to the pay and display scheme. These proposals offer effective and efficient traffic management to meet existing and future demand for access to Poole's beaches, but still offer more than 1,600 free of charge on-street parking spaces within a 5-15 minute walk to the seafront. People with existing resident and non-resident beach permits will also benefit from the new proposals as these will be valid for use in the new pay and display areas."

Cabinet members will also consider introducing pay and display car parking charges in five parks in the borough:

- Hamworthy Park car park
- Lake Pier car park
- Newfoundland Drive Skateboard car park
- Ham Common car park and
- Whitecliff Park car park

A reduced tariff is now proposed offering parking up to 30 minutes free of charge, up to 2 hours a £1 charge and parking for up to 10 hours could be charged £2. The proposed charges will apply in these five parks from 8am to 6pm daily, except for Hamworthy Park where charges will apply from 9.30am to 3pm on Monday to Friday and at Whitecliff Park from 8am to 3pm on Monday to Friday. The proposed charges will also only operate between 1 March and 31 October each year.

In addition a park based Green Parking Permit costing £40 per annum could be available from March 2017 enabling users to park in these five parks without having to buy a ticket. A combined resident beach and park permit costing £140 per annum is also proposed providing flexibility for local people who use both the beach and parks.

Councillor John Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Borough of Poole, said: 

"The revised proposals offer an initial free period of stay plus a much lower tariff providing value for money as well as a more affordable proposition for those visiting the parks on a regular basis. In fact the proposed tariff is set lower than the council's existing district car parking charges.

"These revised proposals help safeguard and improve the quality of parking facilities in our parks ensuring they remain a fantastic amenity for residents and visitors alike both now and in the future."

If approved by Cabinet members, both parking schemes could be implemented from 1 March 2017.