Parking consultation – should we rejig Upper Galdeford car park to create more short-term parking?

Shropshire Council is proposing a major overhaul of parking arrangements and charges across the county. I have said before that this scheme is wrong for our town and will damage trade.

Parking in Shropshire is a profitable business for the council. We need to ensure that whatever changes are approved for Ludlow, they are aimed at benefitting our town.

Although the consultation on parking changes poses a threat, it also creates an opportunity for us to reorganise our car parks and on street parking. This post looks at how we might use our off-street parking more efficiently, especially the Upper Galdeford car park.

This article focuses on the Upper Galdeford car park. I’ll write on Castle Street and Smithfield car parks tomorrow.

I am very concerned that Shropshire Council is proposing to end short term parking on the top deck of Upper Galdeford and at Castle Street. Residents and visitors will also be able to park in these car parks 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a fee that many can afford. This will lead to a steep reduction in turnover in the car parking spaces closest to shops, the GP surgeries and the Library. That will hit trade and make it harder for people to visit essential facilities.

Car parking spaces and costs

Ludlow has 581 off-street spaces in the three car parks operated by Shropshire Council. (This is 70 more spaces than the council says we have.[1])

The following are the current and proposed four-hour rates – the typical period that visitors and many others stay in our town.[2]

Proposals for Upper Galdeford car park

Current car parking spaces in Upper Galdeford

A larger map of Upper Galdeford parking zone.

The 329 space Upper Galdeford car park is spilt into two zones. Zone A is the upper level with 128 parking spaces (light blue on the map above). Zone B, the lower levels, has 201 spaces.

Under Shropshire Council’s proposals, Zone A will cost £0.50 an hour, Zone B £0.30. Casual parkers will be able to stay for as long as they like. Charging continue until 8pm in the evening, instead of 6pm at present. Residents will be offered season tickets for 24 hours, seven days a week. Or they will be able to buy a ticket for just weekends and overnight – from 4pm – during the week. Overnight parkers will get an extra hour free in the morning. Charging will begin at 9am not 8am as at present.

I am not particularly concerned about the hourly rates being proposed by Shropshire Council. Zone A will be cheaper. But I am opposed to allowing 24-hour parking in Zone A, either for visitors or residents. We need a constant turnover on the top level of the car park for visitors and shoppers, and for people going to the library or attending the two nearby GP surgeries.

My proposals are that we create 31 two-hour spaces on the south side of Upper Galdeford A in a convenient position for people visiting the GP surgeries, the Library and shops. Fourteen disabled bays would be available for a maximum of five hours.[3] The remaining 84 spaces would be limited to four hours.

My proposals for Upper Galdeford car park

There is no practical way of restricting the two-hour spaces to patients and I don’t think we should do that. The faster turnover will make it easier for people who are unwell to find a space closer to their surgery.

We are examining the possibility of a pedestrian refuge in the middle of Station Drive between the car park and the Station Drive surgery. This will improve safety for patients and other pedestrians crossing the road.

I would welcome your comments on these proposals. I think the hourly charges that Shropshire Council is proposing for Upper Galdeford are about right. If anything, they are on the cheap side for Upper Galdeford A.

See also, my article on whether a multistorey car park should be built on Upper Galdeford B.

Notes

[1]. Shropshire Council gives different figures for car park capacity: Upper Galdeford A, 167 spaces; Upper Galdeford B, 100; Castle Street, 143; Smithfield, 101. That’s a total of 511 spaces on the council’s calculation. That’s 70 short of my total from satellite photos and walking up and down the rows counting spaces. (Sometimes a councillor’s job is very boring!) The Linney car park is operated by Ludlow Town Council. It has no marked spaces but can take up to 40 well parked cars.

[2]. The council wants to introduce ‘linear pricing’, jargon for car parking being charged at a constant hourly rate. This will replace the current arrangement where the effective hourly rate decreases the longer you stay. Car parks around the county have been divided into seven charging bands, with prices varying from free to £2.50 an hour. Motorists will get what they pay for. If they put £2 into a machine on a car park where the charge is £1.20 an hour, they will get 1 hour 40 minutes.

[3]. Customers pay to use disabled bays in Shropshire Council’s car parks but can park one hour longer than other users.

6 thoughts on “Parking consultation – should we rejig Upper Galdeford car park to create more short-term parking?

  1. I do like the idea of a pedestrian refuge on Station Drive, crossing can be hazardous there. Were this to happen there would be a need to monitor the number of cars parked outside Station Drive surgery as these add to the problems of crossing – vehicles need to pull out to the middle of the road, sometimes at speed to get around the parked vehicles.
    Possibly increased availability of short stay spaces over the road, as you suggest, would help to alleviate this problem

    1. Station Drive surgery parking is a farce, anyone with half a brain cell would have designed a drop off bay for those disabled who need to stop momentarily.
      I am always amazed as UK road design…never the obvious

  2. I can’t say that this scheme particularly appeals to me. I live off Upper Galdeford and trying to find a parking space there is a nightmare. Currently, people park there for days without a valid permit. By reducing the Upper Galdeford car park to 2 hourly parking only, you are ignoring the needs of local residents who also need to park their cars. I am all for balancing the needs of residents and visitors, but this proposal is not looking after the needs of locals, one jot, sorry.

  3. Your proposal makes sense to me. There are sometimes reasons for local people to drive in to the town centre and their business can be done and dusted in an hour or two. As to the comment about the need for ‘locals’ to park in Upper Galdeford and cannot owing to the abuse of the permit system, that’s a different point and needs to be dealt with at source. When I lived in Brighton many years ago there was a time when the Council organised the towing away of vehicles that flouted parking rules. That was a bit controversial to say the least, but it didn’t half concentrate minds.

  4. I’m afraid I am going to have to disagree with Robert Skelton, The two issues (people parking for long periods of time in permit areas and making Upper Galdeford car park short term only) are interlinked. There are not that many street car parking places available, and even if these were all made ‘permit areas only’ which I would be in favour of, what happens when a resident is unable to park in the street, when they have paid to park here, and then also are unable to park in any car parks close to their home (which they would have to pay for).

  5. I fully support your point of view, I believe if you have a permit and are a resident you should have a reserved spot outside your house.
    Not like we don;t pay enough, Road Tax, Fuel Tax, Council Tax, Permit Fees…yet get bugger all back in terms of facilities…5

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