Preparing for the future of parking

PUBLISHED: 08:01 27 January 2006 | UPDATED: 21:39 28 May 2010

FENLAND District Council is inviting local people and the business community to have their say on future parking provision for the four Fenland towns. The council is keen to hear the views and ideas of local people on how best to meet the growing demand f

FENLAND District Council is inviting local people and the business community to have their say on future parking provision for the four Fenland towns.

The council is keen to hear the views and ideas of local people on how best to meet the growing demand for parking as March, Wisbech, Chatteris and Whittlesey expand over the coming decades.

The council's Overview and Scrutiny Parking Provision Review Team wants to involve the public, businesses and other key stakeholders in the debate about how best to provide for Fenland's future parking needs.

There are 1,756 off-street parking places provided by the council, spread across the four towns and there is a question mark over whether they are of adequate and appropriate quality to cope with current and future requirements.

The review will also be looking at whether sufficient capacity can be created by improved regulation of existing car parks through the greater allocation of short and long stay spaces. Do local people want better, more secure car parking?

To help develop a well-rounded picture of parking provision, Councillors Ken Mayor, Peter Dickinson, Cliff Edwards, Steve Cawthorne, Cyril Bellamy and Trevor Quince will be visiting neighbouring authorities to learn how they have addressed their parking issues.

The review will look at on and off-street parking, its quality, availability, costs, regulation and use in order to develop a long-term strategy for the future of parking in Fenland.

The review has been designed to fulfil three of the council's key objectives.

# The Streets Ahead objective, to make the district a more attractive place to live, work and visit by ensuring that the streetscape is neat and tidy, well maintained and safe. Parking provision and car parks make an important contribution to the streetscape and the surrounding area.

# The Open for Business agenda, which aims to increase visitor numbers to the district and it is, therefore, essential that sufficient suitable parking is made available for access to local businesses and local attractions.

# The Quality Organisation agenda, which prioritises optimum use of council resources to deliver value for money for local people. These resources include council car parks.

There are 958 council off-street parking spaces spread across eight car parks in Wisbech and a further 400 spaces at the private Horse Fair car park. March has 281 council off-street parking spaces across six car parks, with a further 275 spaces provided by Sainsbury. Whittlesey has 293 council off-street spaces across five car parks and Chatteris has 124 council off-street spaces in two car parks.

The review will not encompass individual parking issues; out of town parking; individual parking complaints or wider issues of traffic management.

Councillor Ken Mayor, chairman of the Parking Provision Review Team, said: "As Fenland grows, we need to look closely at how and where we provide parking as well as the quality of the parking.

"We must also look at how we can best provide good quality parking across Fenland, while at the same time remaining sensitive to the sometimes competing needs of local businesses, local residents and the environment. It is a delicate balancing act and we can only achieve it by consulting with all stakeholders before arriving at any recommendations on future provision."

# Anyone who wants to put their ideas and views across to the council should contact senior overview and scrutiny officer Donnella Benbow on 01354 654321 or via e-mail on dbenbow@fenland.gov.uk or in writing to her at Fenland Hall, County Road, March, PE15 8NQ.

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