Ludlow Town Council says Shropshire Council must not use parking in Ludlow as a “cash cow”

Tomorrow night, Monday 9 October, Ludlow Town Council will meet to discuss its response to Shropshire Council’s parking proposals. It is unhappy with what Shropshire Council is proposing. The draft document says:

“The unique qualities of Ludlow, its distance from the County Town and the current destination of parking revenues mean that the temptation to treat the town as a ‘cash cow’ for the Unitary Council must be resisted at all costs.”

At their last meeting, Ludlow town councillors could not agree on a response to the parking strategy. Hence Monday night’s special meeting, which will also discuss grant applications. The meeting begins at 7pm in the Guildhall. As usual, there will be a 15-minute public open session at the beginning of the meeting.

The full paperwork in PDF (16.4Mb).

Town council’s draft response

The draft paper says Ludlow has an “economy based firmly on tourism”:

“Over many years, Ludlow has developed an economy that has weathered the decline of the traditional town centre throughout the UK and emerged with an economy that is successful. As successful as Ludlow is, the interplay and balance of the town’s business & tourism economies is critical and any dramatic change in the balance of any of these factors could well lead to a rapid and terminal decline in the overall local economy. Shropshire council must employ joined up thinking and recognise the importance of a fit for purpose parking strategy.”

It continues:

“It is essential for the town’s economy that there is a steady turnover of on and off-street parking. People who work in the town also require long stay parking provision. On-street bays in the town centre should be remarked to ensure efficient use of the limited space and create an additional 12 on-street parking spaces].”

The council wants to boost the park and ride service:

“It is essential to the lifeblood of the town that a ‘fit-for-purpose’ Park & Ride (P&R) service is provided to run 7 days per week. The production of a parking ticket issued at the out-of-town site [Eco Park] should entitle a driver and one passenger to travel into and out of the town at a reduced cost. P&R routes must be as direct as possible and as frequent as is practicable. To have an important tourist centre unable to provide a P&R service on what is often the busiest day of the week [Sunday] makes no financial sense at all.”

The council says the current ‘pop and shop’ 15-minute grace must be maintained to encourage local shoppers and maintain the rotation of spaces. The extension of parking charges from 6pm to 8pm “would irreparably harm the night-time economy of the town” and would deter visitors and volunteers at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms.

It wants short term parking limits to remain and says the long term car parks work well:

“There needs to be a quick turnover short term parking available at Castle Street Car Park and Galdeford [upper tier]. There is no capacity for residents parking in these car parks. Galdeford [lower tier] and Smithfield need to be longer stay to provide for those who wish to spend more time in the town. These are, in fact, the provisions that apply now and they have proved successful.”

Coach parking spaces and market trader permits should be maintained.

The town council gets tough on residents parking schemes. There is anecdotal evidence that some residents obtain permits for people that work in the town but do not live here. It is said that some permits are photocopied. The council is calling for permit applications to be checked to ensure the vehicle is registered at that address. Permits should cost £50 a year for a vehicle in the Blue Zone. A permit for the first vehicle in the Red Zone would cost £50 and the second £100.

The council doesn’t pull its punches on criticising the Shirehall’s motives:

“Changes imposed to benefit the admin processes and revenue streams of Shropshire Council are not fit for purpose for Ludlow. The only beneficiary of the increased Sunday charges is Shropshire Council’s coffers. That the proposed increases were astronomical at 167% and 273%. That the proposals are biased towards those who can afford to pay and have deep pockets. Shropshire Council must recognise the importance of a fit for purpose parking strategy that works to support Ludlow.”

6 thoughts on “Ludlow Town Council says Shropshire Council must not use parking in Ludlow as a “cash cow”

  1. If LTC think there is a need for ‘a steady turnover of spaces’, why are there spaces taken up by market traders all day?
    No matter. Although I admire the councils optimism, it’s not as if SC will listen, is it?
    Where is the increased revenue going to be spent? What will it be spent on?
    As ever, answers are needed.

  2. As usual residents are penalised for living in the town centre, we pay for a permit while Ludlow Town Council allows free car parking on the market and events square.
    I would love someone to read the minutes of the meetings of when the original scheme was set up, the arguments being put forward as required now, are the faults that the parking scheme were meant to solve.
    If Ludlow is being used as a cash cow then perhaps we could abolish the parking scheme altogether.

  3. I’m not sure that living in the town centre comes with the right to cheaper, or more expensive parking – some would argue that paying more ‘comes with the territory’ of living in that part of town.
    LTC does not allow parking on the square, or the events square – its SC, and its policing of its policies, that determine parking in town.
    I think the issue is not that we pay, or indeed how much, it’s why the Ludlovians and its visitors are expected to contribute to SC’s coffers… coupled with how the money is spent.

    1. The parking on the events square and market square are a regular occurrence on non market days and evenings , both these areas are controlled by Ludlow Town Council and are not anything to do with SC. Ludlow Town Council could easily install a parking meter as they have in the linney car park. I wasn’t asking for special car parking rates but a level playing field, especially with comments such as ” Town Council gets tough on residents parking ” and ” there is no capacity for residents in castle street and Galdeford upper tier car parks “. I still don’t understand why we have red and blue zones which the Town Council wants SC to charge at different rates for residents, surely that is aiding and abetting the cash cow mentality.

      1. Unfortunately, whilst those spaces are controlled by LTC, it’s SC that enforces parking legislation there. Not sure why.. (probably where the cash cow idea comes from).
        LTC has always been reactive, rather than proactive..hence the headlines you quoted.
        A level playing field would be the way to go, how that would be achieved I don’t know, given the difficult relationship between the two councils. One doesn’t tell, or even ask, and the other doesn’t listen.. LTCs reaction does look like they are contributing to the cash cow mentality, I agree.
        As for the installation of a meter on the square.. what a brilliant idea!

  4. the shropshire council should put something back into the car parks like clear signage and markings on the road ways i have seen so many near misses in the library car park. All due to poor road marking and signs

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