I am writing to respond to the revised Yarm Pay and Display consultation.
Stockton Council is seeking representations on the recommendations of the committee to modify the proposed order as follows:
- 1. To increase the initial free period of parking from 30 minutes to one hour.
- 2. To introduce a maximum stay on the High Street for all vehicles of up to three hours.
I should begin by saying that I welcome the proposal to increase the free parking from 30 minutes to an hour, it being a step in the right direction.
However, the report you commissioned in 2011 and which is published on the internet here: http://www.stockton.gov.uk/documents/ert/carparks/yarmparkingresearch.pdf
tells us that “the average length of stay is 102 minutes”.
This clearly means that the average visitor to Yarm will now have to curtail their visit by 42 minutes to return to their car and either purchase a ticket or leave the High Street. This will inconvenience visitors and limit trading opportunities thus being a detriment to the local retailers too.
It is obvious that a 2 hour free period should be applied– that which currently operates with the disc scheme. That way only 3 – 4% of visitors (per your report) will need to purchase a ticket to park.
If you apply a 1 hour limit, our average visitor may well seek to park instead on local residential streets like Aislaby Road, Millfield Close, Butts Lane, Goose Pastures, Sheepfoot Hill and the Meadowings. This will cause terrible problems that SBC will then need to set up another scheme to tackle.
The difficulty with applying a 3 hour blanket parking time on the High Street is that your research has shown that 360 cars belong to staff of High Street businesses. They would find it impossible to fulfil their working responsibilities under this scheme. And indeed they would be prime candidates for parking in the local side streets that I have already identified above. Therefore SBC should persevere with its efforts to secure long term parking elsewhere in the centre of Yarm before this restriction came into effect so that these drivers could park elsewhere.
This would have the added benefit of releasing those 360 places for use by many more visitors. If we assume that a staff car is parked for 8 hours – and moved around the High Street to avoid falling foul of the disc scheme, then we can assume that 4 times that number, ie 1440 places could be made available for people wishing to visit the town for two hours if those 360 were not parked there any more.
This would make a tremendous difference to the availability of parking in the town.
I would also welcome a response to my previous suggestion that Yarm School should be asked to find provision for its sixth form drivers within its own boundaries. This too would release spaces for genuine visitors.
Again I must urge SBC to secure the long term places before commencing with any changes to the current parking scheme.
Thank you for your kind attention
Yours sincerelyLouise Baldock