Most car parking charges in Thanet look like being frozen with free Saturday parking schemes remaining for 2014/15.
The final decision depends on proposals from Thanet District Council’s cabinet being agreed at full council in December.
Cabinet’s recommendations follow consultation involving more than 700 local people, businesses and visitors as part of a wider review of the council’s parking service.
Feedback revealed that car parking charges were the biggest priority for people when deciding where to park and where to shop. Other key factors were the availability of parking and the range of shops on offer.
In December, councillors will also consider moving all off-street car parks to a linear charging system (so motorists get parking time for all money inserted into the machine), reducing the charging period for on-street parking from 7pm to 6pm, closing Margate’s Mill Lane multi-storey car park at 7pm and bringing the on-street charge at Lawn Road (Broadstairs) in line with other on-street charges of £1.20 per hour.
The proposals would also see an extension of the free Saturday parking schemes introduced in June 2012 to support local businesses and to encourage visitors and residents to shop locally. This includes Vere Road, Broadstairs; Harold Road, Cliftonville; Mill Lane, Margate and Leopold Street, Ramsgate.
In addition, the scheme in Birchington’s Albion Road car park will continue, but will now include a 10p charge for the first 30 minutes of parking to prevent the anti-social use of the existing free ticket scheme.
Responses to the consultation on parking revealed drivers’ priorities when choosing a space were that: Charges were reasonable (51%), it was close to their destination (35%) and that it was easy to find a space (26%).
Free parking was a top priority for shoppers (45%). Other parking priorities for shoppers included the availability of parking (33%) and the overall range of shops provided (22%).
The results of the public consultation are available to view at www.thanet.gov.uk