Many people in and adjacent to Ludlow town centre purchase parking permits from Shropshire Council to allow them to park on-street. This currently costs £50 a year.
Yesterday, Shropshire Council’s cabinet agreed a consultation on new plans for car park and on-street parking charges. If it sticks to its plans after the consultation, the cost of residents parking permits will double to £100 a year. Residents will not be happy with that hike. They will, though, be able to park in town centre car parks, all day and seven days a week for between £4 and £12 a week.
This change is part of more extensive plans to change parking arrangements and adjust charges across the county. While some tariffs will go down or remain the same, the majority will rise under the council’s “linear pricing” policies. Short stay car parks will be abandoned in favour of a scheme that allows people to park for as long as they want if they can afford the bill. Half price parking on Sundays and free parking on bank holidays is to be scrapped. Parking charges will apply up to 8pm in the evening, instead of 6pm as at present.
The £100 charge for residents permits includes a £31 charge for enforcement officers to come and slap tickets on cars that overstay their welcome or should not be parked in the red or blue zones. A further £19 will be paid on administration and £50 on scheme administration and maintenance.
Critically for residents, they will be able to park in the town’s car parks 24-hours a day, seven days a week for an extra charge. This will not always be expensive.
Residents wanting to leave their vehicle idle in the Castle Street car park will pay either £12.31 or £9.23 a week, if they pay annually. We don’t yet know whether the lower or higher charge will apply. That will be decided after the consultation. But I would bet my last three bob note on Shropshire Council plumping for the higher charge.
Galdeford A (the top two levels) will cost either £6.15 and £7.69 a week. Galdeford B (the bottom levels) and Smithfield will be £3.69 or £4.62 a week. Again, these prices will apply if the bill is paid annually. Shorter term season tickets will be available and will cost more. (Current and proposed charges in full for Shropshire in PDF or Excel.)
Season tickets for parking in the evening and at weekends only will be cheaper still. But the evening will begin at 8pm instead of 6pm as at present. This will be too late for many residents. Vehicles will be able to remain in the car parks until 9am in the morning. Most residents – knowing Shropshire Council’s enthusiasm for slapping tickets on overstaying cars in Ludlow – will probably opt for the 24×7 tickets.
We are a town that is short on car park and on-street spaces. This scheme doesn’t help us much. Instead of residents parking overnight in the car parks for free, they’ll now be charged and get one hour less. They can park all day for a discount rate but this could lead to the car parks becoming clogged with residents, leaving few spaces for workers and shoppers to park.
This car parking policy is still very fresh. It is designed for Shrewsbury, not Ludlow. It will need a lot of revision before it will work for our town.
. Shropshire Council says: “Scheme implementation and maintenance is calculated by taking the average estimated set up cost of a typical scheme divided by the estimated number of properties in a typical scheme, with these costs spread over a 5 year period.” How curious this should work out at exactly £50. I get the feeling this is simply a charge which is being retrospectively justified.