Tag: car parking

Shropshire Council to make most car parks free after 11am from 3 December to 17 January

This is welcome. Shropshire Council has announced that most car parks will be free over Christmas and the New Year. This will include Castle Street, Galdeford and Smithfield car parks in Ludlow. Free parking will be from 11am each day until 8am the next morning. This move aims to attract more visitors into Shropshire’s towns after the second lockdown ends on 2 December. This is a crucial time for independent traders who have had a tough year. Similarly, pubs, cafes and restaurants desperately need a boost before towns like ours enter the quiet season between New Year and Easter.

Car park charges back in Ludlow from Tuesday but no plans to reinstate park and ride service

Without any consultation with councillors, Shropshire Council is to reintroduce car parking charges across the county on Tuesday 14 July. This could not be worse timed. Ludlow is beginning to recover from lockdown but it is a long haul ahead. Social distancing is a challenge everywhere but more so in a historic town with narrow streets and pleasantly ancient pubs, restaurants and cafes. Free parking in the Galdeford and Smithfield car parks should be part of Ludlow’s offer over the summer. We councillors have been told that officers are “looking at how Park and Ride may support more fully and proposals are in development.” But there is no timetable for this. Not even an indication that the council is thinking about Ludlow’s park and ride service, which is unusable at present. There should be no additional car park charges this summer and certainly none until the park and ride is fully functional.

Shropshire Council gets its five a day from Ludlow alone – even more from Bridgnorth

We are not talking apples and pears but parking fines. We are often grumping about penalty charge notices (PCNs) in Ludlow. At times, there is a feeling that we are targeted. Is that the case? I thought I’d take a look on how many fines are handed out across the county. In 2017/18, Shropshire Council’s civil enforcement officers handed out nearly 14,000 PCNs. Half of them were, unsurprisingly, slapped on windscreens in Shrewsbury. Bridgnorth came next, followed by Ludlow. Trailing by some way is Oswestry. Nearly 40 tickets a day were issued across the unitary area, five of them in Ludlow. They raised an income of around £440,000, rather less than the £590,000 cost of running the civil enforcement service.

Are you surprised by this headline? I certainly am. In 2017/18, Shropshire Council took nearly £640,000 from Ludlow’s car parks and on-street parking machines. That’s three per cent down on the year before, probably due to bad weather over the winter. The ‘profit’ after operating costs was £373,000. Most of the profit is spent on subsidising buses. And, in what may come as a surprise to many people, those hated yellow screen stickers lose money. A loss of around £10 a ticket across Shropshire.

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