Shoppers, retailers and commuters all benefit from Parking Strategy changes

22 January 2020

The Council’s new parking strategy is improving access to parking spaces both in the borough’s car parks and on-street, and is enabling the Council to invest in the quality of its parking provision.

The borough-wide strategy launched in July 2017 with the aim of managing the increasing demand for parking.  
The Strategy encourages people intending to park for a short time for shopping or leisure  to use central car parks, while commuters intending to leave their car for many hours or the whole day are encouraged to use edge of town car parks as the Council seeks to reduce congestion and air pollution during the evening peak times.
The Council has influenced people’s parking choices by introducing appropriate controls, including a combination of length of stay restrictions, modest tariffs, and by providing some free edge-of town car parks, while also encouraging the use of public transport such as Park and Ride in Chester.  
Examples of improvements include: Frodsham Street car park in Chester (primarily for Blue badge users) that has been re-designed and re-surfaced and now has some wider bays for larger or adapted vehicles; Station car park in Frodsham that has been resurfaced and re-lined, with additional funding identified to increase capacity; part of the Old Depot site in Northwich is to be developed as a free long stay car park; work is about to start to improve the facilities at the Park and Ride sites; and a new parking system is under consideration for Ellesmere Port alongside the planned public service hub and bus station.
A recent review to assess the impact of this strategy has found, in the majority of cases, changes to charging and control measures have created more spaces in the right locations at the right times:
  • in most cases, average occupancy has increased
  • dwell time has increased in targeted car parks and parking availability for retail users has increased in targeted on- and off-street locations
  • in Chester, air pollution associated with the evening peak, to which ‘free after 3’ contributed, has reduced
Councillor Karen Shore, Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, said: “The Council aims to help our residents to thrive and this means ensuring they are able to go about their daily business with ease. Being able to commute to work without disruption or supporting local businesses by shopping locally are essential to helping our local economy to grow.

“These regular activities often involve being able to park easily. The Parking Strategy has resulted in improvements being made and motorists are finding it easier to park. We will continue to monitor the use of car parking in the borough to continue to improve the quality of parking, reduce congestion and improve air quality.”

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