Driv­ers may be charged for get­ting locked in car parks

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views - LIZ BRAD­FIELD glam­or­gan.gazette@waleson­line.co.uk

A SOUTH Wales coun­cil is un­der­tak­ing a ma­jor re­view of its car parks with plans to in­crease charges in some ar­eas, in­tro­duce res­i­dents’ per­mit park­ing and in­stall elec­tric charg­ing points for ve­hi­cles.

The changes, many of which will be sub­ject to a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion be­fore be­ing im­ple­mented, also in­volve charg­ing car own­ers who ar­rive af­ter car parks have been locked at night, and charg­ing con­trac­tors for tem­po­rary per­mits while build­ing work is be­ing un­der­taken in Brid­gend town cen­tre.

Brid­gend coun­cil is re­spon­si­ble for 28 off-street car parks, of which 10 are run as pay and dis­play. It is look­ing at pass­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the 18 non-charge­able car parks to town and com­mu­nity coun­cils via com­mu­nity as­set trans­fers.

Hourly rates in car parks across Brid­gend could in­crease un­der the plans. The coun­cil wants to charge more for the first hour in some ar­eas while bring­ing down the cost, or keep­ing it the same, for long-stay park­ing.

It says the in­crease to the short stay tar­iff will “sim­plify” the park­ing tar­iffs for users, while a re­duc­tion in the long stay tar­iff will help en­cour­age visi­tors to stay longer.

The plans which will go out to con­sul­ta­tion also in­clude re­stricted park­ing times along Porth­cawl seafront and new charges for Rest Bay Car Park.

Un­der the plans, any­one re­turn­ing late to a coun­cil-run car park in Brid­gend to find their car has been locked in­side could soon be faced with a bill for the call-out charge.

Brid­gend coun­cil says each call-out costs £40 plus VAT mean­ing it costs the coun­cil about £4,320 ev­ery year.

The plans could also lead to the in­tro­duc­tion of res­i­dents’ park­ing per­mits and tem­po­rary con­trac­tor per­mits.

In 2014, cab­i­net mem­bers ap­proved the per­mit tar­iff charge of £20 which would cover the an­nual ad­min­is­tra­tion costs.

Cor­po­rate di­rec­tor for com­mu­ni­ties Mark Shep­herd told coun­cil­lors is­sues had now been solved but due to the amount of time since the first con­sul­ta­tion, an­other con­sul­ta­tion was now nec­es­sary.

A con­sul­ta­tion ex­er­cise in Porth­cawl which was car­ried out at the same time as the one in Brid­gend met with in­suf­fi­cient sup­port from the ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents to progress the scheme for­ward to a for­mal con­sul­ta­tion.

With re­gard to tem­po­rary per­mits, con­trac­tors re­quir­ing a per­mit to park their ve­hi­cle on a street in Brid­gend town cen­tre while planned works are be­ing car­ried out to a build­ing may soon have to pay for it.

The per­mits, called dis­pen­sa­tion no­tices, give per­mis­sion to park while planned works are un­der­taken at premises which are next to park­ing re­stric­tions, in re­stricted zones or in res­i­den­tial park­ing zones.

In some cir­cum­stances, per­mis­sion may be granted to wait on yel­low lines, load­ing bays or in pedes­trian zones.

The per­mits are cur- rently granted free of charge but the coun­cil is now look­ing at in­tro­duc­ing a charge of £10 per day.

Else­where, two elec­tric car charg­ing points will be in­stalled in a Brid­gend car park if fund­ing grant bids are suc­cess­ful.

The ma­chines which can charge two cars each will be placed on the ground floor of the Rhiw car park.

There are cur­rently no charg­ing points within Brid­gend County Bor­ough Coun­cil’s car parks.

The ma­chines are ex­pected to cost a to­tal of about £20,000 and will only be in­stalled if fund­ing can be achieved.


Brid­gend coun­cil is un­der­tak­ing a ma­jor re­view of its car parks

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