Shoppers face car parking charges

PARKING charges in Stevenage Old Town are set to be imposed as a result of a recent study. Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) estimates it will spend �282,000 implementing the plan, and may have to defer other schemes as a consequence. Following the results

PARKING charges in Stevenage Old Town are set to be imposed as a result of a recent study.

Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) estimates it will spend �282,000 implementing the plan, and may have to defer other schemes as a consequence.

Following the results of a parking study commissioned by SBC in 2007, the council's executive will meet tonight (Thursday) to discuss introducing charges in the off-street car parks, including the Waitrose car park, and making on-street parking spaces along both sides of the High Street short-stay.

If these plans are approved, further parking restrictions will be introduced in Church Lane and the lower end of Sish Lane, to prevent migration of commuter parking into these streets.


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Members of the executive will also discuss closing the lorry park on Primett Road and changing it to a long-stay car park.

Permitting lorries to park overnight on certain roads in the Gunnels Wood Road employment area, such as Argyle Way, will be looked at.

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In an SBC report it said: "All day parking in the prime parking spaces in front of the High Street shops is leading to a lack of short-stay parking facilities, which discourages growth in retail activity."

It also said: "Largely unregulated parking facilities does not provide incentives for long term parkers to use alternative modes of transport", and that there is a problem of commuter and shopper overspill in residential streets close to the High Street.

The SBC report asserts that: "The "do nothing" option will benefit only the long-stay parkers in the Old Town, to the detriment of trading levels and business interests and council taxpayers in general."

A number of blue badge holder bays, giving easy access to the High Street retail areas, form part of the parking proposals.

In the town centre, there is a proposal to introduce charging on the 45 limited waiting bays in Southgate, The Quadrant and Marshgate.

The 30-minute waiting restriction would be retained and a 50p pay and display charge for this period introduced.

The SBC report acknowledges: "There will almost certainly be some objections", but says: "These bays tend to cause some congestion with vehicles obstructing the carriageway waiting for a bay to become free."

The 45 blue badge holder bays do not form part of this proposal.

Following formal consultation, the entire parking scheme could be completed by April 2010.

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