Shropshire Council blocks early review of Ludlow parking permits – that will damage local businesses

I attended Shropshire Council cabinet yesterday morning to press the case for the review of the new parking regime due in May to be brought forward to March. This was refused outright. This means that any changes will not be implemented until mid-summer, if not later. But people are struggling right now with the new regime. Visitors who want to book a self-catering apartment or a B&B room are being put off by having to park up to one kilometre away.

We need the economy of our town to thrive. Parking is part of our economic package. But Shropshire Council doesn’t understand that. It doesn’t mention trade and the economy at all in its response to my question.

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I am calling for an immediate review of parking permits in Ludlow and across the county

The new parking regime across Shropshire is not working well. The most urgent agenda is that we are seeing an impact on future bookings for accommodation in Ludlow. Holiday let and B&B owners are saying that they can’t let because the first question they ask is where can I park? The answer must be down by Tesco or Smithfield.

The view official view of Shropshire Council is that visitors must park one kilometre away if they rent premium holiday and B&B rents in our historic town centre.

On Wednesday, I will be asking Shropshire Council’s cabinet to review the permit regime in March, not in May as planned. 

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Shropshire Council’s zero tolerance policy on parking threatens the high streets of market towns like Ludlow

There a chill in the air in Ludlow and it is not just the winter weather. Parking enforcement officers seem to be in town most days and some evenings.

Window cleaners, couriers, deliveries to pubs, local businesses delivering beds, craftsmen working on buildings. All are fair game to Shropshire Council as it clamps down harder than before on technical parking offences. Parking officers are giving no leeway. They are chilling our town’s atmosphere.

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Shropshire Council: Income from the new parking charges will fall short of predictions by £2 million

The hikes in parking charges in the centre of Ludlow have been controversial. They were ill thought through and driven by a desire to make Shropshire Council a champion of “linear parking charges”. The only potential upside was that the charges were going to draw in income for the council. Council leader Peter Nutting told us in Ludlow he was hoping to raise £2.5 million to help plug the looming gap in the council’s finances.

Alas, the new regime is going to raise just £400,000 a year across the county. Is that amount worth all the effort? I very much doubt it.

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Shropshire Council issues an upbeat press release on parking in Ludlow – it should relax and let the new scheme settle in

In a press release today on last week’s changes to car parking in Ludlow, Shropshire Council said:

“Early indications are that the changes have had a positive impact and been well received. Initial observations indicate a noticeable shift from on-street to off-street parking — in line with the aims of the strategy – plus positive feedback from residents about the reduction in parking congestion and ability to park close to their homes.”

You cannot judge a parking scheme based on a seven-day period during which the weather was often poor. A seven-day period when town centre roads were closed over the weekend for the Medieval Fayre.

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