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Statement of Reasons: Uttlesford District Council (Off-street Parking Places) Order 2024

Statement of Reasons

The District Council in exercise of their powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 intends to make a permanent Order which relates to the following Parking Places:

Great Dunmow: Angel Lane, Chequers Lane, White Street, New Street

Saffron Walden: Catons Lane, The Common, Fairycroft Road, Rose and Crown, Swan Meadow, Swan Meadow Coach Park, London Road, Catons Lane

Stansted Mountfitchet: Crafton Green, Lower Street coach and car park.

The council commissioned a review of parking within the district which was carried out in the summer of 2022 by an external consultancy company, Parking Matters Ltd. The full report can be found on the Uttlesford District Council website. A supplementary review focusing specifically on the council's off-street car parks and recommendations were undertaken in 2023. These were considered by the council's Cabinet in December 2023.
 

Proposed changes

Tariff increases

Tariff changes are proposed in all of the district's pay and display car parks. The car park tariffs were previously reviewed in 2015 and have not increased in the following eight years so inflation has been taken into account. Tariffs are an important tool for councils to provide and manage turnover of spaces to ensure that parking is available to motorists when required. There is cost to the council associated with the provision of car parks, and tariffs are used to cover these as well as other costs that the council incurs. Benchmarking against other car park tariffs has taken place to compare the council's parking offer with that offered by other comparable local authorities.

During the review the council asked the consultants to consider all aspects of parking and the following proposals were recommended in addition to increasing the current tariffs:

Extending the daily parking chargeable period to 6pm (currently 5pm)

This is standard operational time within many local authority car parks.

To remove the 30 minutes tariff from all Saffron Walden car parks

This would make the minimum parking charge time one hour and may encourage motorists to spend additional time in Saffron Walden rather than having to return to their vehicles within 30 minutes.

A flat rate charge for Sundays and Bank Holidays

It is proposed that a day tariff on Sundays and bank holidays is introduced. The proposed tariff is £1.50 in Saffron Walden and £1.00 in Great Dunmow and Stansted Mountfitchet car parks.

Catons Lane car park The car park is currently free of charge at the point of use. It is proposed that a tariff structure is introduced onto Catons Lane car park. The proposed tariffs align with Swan Meadow car park as it is intended that Catons Lane will serve as a long stay car park.

London Road car park

The car park is currently free of charge at the point of use. It is proposed that a tariff structure is introduced onto London Road car park on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays. The tariffs on Saturdays are proposed to match Swan Meadow car park to enable the car park to operate as a long stay car park, whilst there is a proposed standard charge across all car parks in Saffron Walden on Sundays and bank holidays. It is also proposed that a resident permit scheme will be introduced on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank holidays and after 4.30pm on weekdays to allow residents in numbers 2 - 50 (even only) London Road the opportunity to park. The proposed cost of each permit is £78.00.

Crafton Green car park

It is proposed that the car park is altered to short stay parking with a maximum stay time of three hours, this will ensure a greater turnover of parking spaces. In conjunction with the change to short stay parking, it is proposed that season tickets will be withdrawn from this car park. Long stay parking will still be available in Lower Street car park.

Chequers Lane car park

This car park is already designated as a short stay so it is proposed that season tickets are withdrawn from this car park. An alternative permit parking arrangement for parents of St Marys primary school is being proposed to allow parents to use the car park for a limited time to allow picking up and setting down of pupils and regulate use of the car park.

Hybrid season tickets

It is proposed to introduce two types of hybrid season tickets. These are intended to offer discounted parking in the same way that a standard season ticket does but with a variation in the number of uses and hours that they can be used for within a set period. Hybrid season tickets are intended to accommodate changes to peoples working patterns such as not going to a place of work every day.

Convenience Fee for MiPermit use

A convenience fee of ten pence is charged by MiPermit every time that it is used by a customer to purchase parking time. It is proposed that this charge is passed to the user rather than the council. MiPermit users will receive a notification of the additional charge before purchasing a parking stay. The Council also has machines in its car parks which offer card payments which will allow car park users a different payment option if they do not wish to use MiPermit. A new Schedule 2 is added to the Order to accommodate the convenience fee.

Other proposals

Changes are being made to the Interpretation and Definitions of the Order to introduce electric vehicles, electric vehicle charging place, electric vehicle charging point and electric vehicle car clubs, motorcycles and Hybrid Season tickets. 

Additional information and background reports can be found on the Uttlesford District Council website at: Car parking in Uttlesford consultation