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Review into car parking charges
3:00pm Saturday 21st September 2013 in Wiltshire
a review of the county’s car parking is being planned by Wiltshire Council for next year, after it admitted making mistakes with the service.
Councillor John Thomson, cabinet member for highways and streetscene, told a Trow-bridge Area Board meeting that he wanted the public to have a say and suggest improvements.
In 2011, Wiltshire Council put up prices in its car parks and ended a one-hour free parking tariff, which left traders complaining it had an effect on footfall in town centres. Cllr Thomson told last Thurs-day’s meeting: “I’m really interested in car parking in 2014. I don’t think, as a council, we have got the price banding completely right and maybe we should look at introducing different banding for different places and car parks.”
In 2011/12, Wiltshire Council made £4.9m profit from parking, the 23rd highest figure for a local authority out of 359 nationally.
Cllr Thomson said the revenue was spent on the council’s £19.5m rural transport budget, including bus links across Wiltshire that were much-needed because 15 per cent of county people did not have a car.
He said: “A lot of people do not fully understand the costs involved in car parking and what they go towards. This is why I’m going to ask my officers to publish their structures, so we can have a proper, accurate debate.”
The council is also seeking to improve road surfaces, with Cllr Thomson blaming the poor state of some on a budget reduction during the late 1990s, when investment fell to about £5m.
He said: “There was a massive period of underinvestment, which equated to £52m over a number of years, and now our budget is £27m a year, but we are playing catch-up.
“We have already been working on getting our roads back up to standard, concentrating on high speed roads, but we will be looking at the smaller roads too.”
To find out more about plans for highways, email john.thomson @wiltshire.gov.uk.
l Residents’ upset over street cleaning: Page 43
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