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.

I have heard town centre residents say that they have found it easier to park. Traders have also said that trade dipped. Both effects could have been down to the weather last week. Ludlow’s trade is heavily dependent on both visitors and locals. Many people don’t turn out to shop and explore when the weather is poor.

It is rubbish for Shropshire Council to say that the changes are helping to reduce congestion without a shred of evidence. Anyway, what congestion? Slow traffic, yes. Arkward manouvering is frequent on our town centre streets. But “congestion” as the rest of the world understands congestion is not a word that applies to Ludlow.

Shropshire Council is fighting hard to justify its new parking regime just a week after it was introduced. I don’t know why it was in a panic today. It should relax. The Traffic Regulation Order that governs the new scheme is in place and it can’t be changed any time soon.

The council’s cabinet has agreed two reviews of the new countywide parking strategy. The first is due next May. That won’t help us much in Ludlow. It will only cover the winter period and I doubt it will show more than the impact of the weather.

I am looking forward to the second review in November 2019. That is expected to examine how the new parking regime has operated over the full year.

It will only be at that point that can we make a judgement on the impact of the new parking charges. Only then will we know whether they benefit or damage the interests of residents, traders and workers. We will not have a hope of judging the impact the new charges have had on congestion until a full year has passed. We need a full seasonal cycle of commerce, weather, events and festivals.

Shropshire Council should stop claiming that the new parking regime has worked without citing any numerical evidence whatsoever. It should stop firing press releases from the hip. It must calm down and relax. It should wait for the planned review of the parking strategy next November.

6 thought on “Shropshire Council issues an upbeat press release on parking in Ludlow – it should relax and let the new scheme settle in”
  1. I’m guessing no ones actually asked anyone who would know.. Such as Chamber, or LTC. SC should be asked where their information is from, otherwise denounced as propaganda.
    Over to you, Councillors – both town and county. Show them we can speak for ourselves.

  2. I still have almost two books of scratch card permits that were included in my annual residents permit fee in the old parking regime.
    Can I assume that these are still valid until they run out.
    I would add that these are far more convenient for residents than the new online 200 hour allowance which appears to require pre knowledge of unexpected visitors car registrations.

  3. The few people I spoke to over the weekend (both visitors and locals) were not impressed by the new charges, especially on-road in the town centre. Only plus comment was that “the lower part of Galdeford car-park is now cheaper for 2 hours”. Most visitors drive into the centre and that is as dear as most cities. Also noted yesterday that Tenbury are having free parking on Saturday afternoons and all day Sunday in December. Take note please Shrewsbury!!

  4. ludlow has free parking every sunday in smithfield and galdeford car parks and 50p per hour on a sunday in castle st car park perhaps people should look first before complaining if you want to park on st and pay £1~80 an hour then that is your choice

  5. It isn’t though, is it? That’s the issue – not the cost of parking. Surely the issue is that the charging changes were brought in by a cash strapped authority 30 plus miles away, purely to fund that authority, rather than Ludlow.
    The town centre economy of any town, especially one like ours, is a fragile ecosystem, one which is damaged by such money grabbing from SC.
    The ability to pay is very different from the desire to pay. Surely an increase of 30p an hour to 1.80 needs scrutiny.

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