Cardiff County Council has begun consulting on its plans for parking in the City.
Cardiff’s new Parking Strategy is about Managing Parking for a Liveable City, and will form the basis for decisions relating to parking in Cardiff.
Not long ago we talked about the significant price increase affecting the Council’s own on-street parking. In September 2015 prices increased from £5.20 per day to close to £8.00+ in some areas. This was a sign of things to come and, the new parking strategy looks to further discourage commuter traffic from entering the city –thinning out the herd, as we like to call it.
The plan has a number of key actions, including:
Action 5.1 Parking Tariffs
Cardiff Council, under the provisions of the Traffic Management Act (2004) will employ Civil Enforcement Officers to undertake parking enforcement and to ensure the unobstructed movement of bus services and the emergency services, particularly on strategic corridors where traffic orders are in place.
Action 5.2 Parking Tariffs
Cardiff Council will pursue powers to enforce the obstruction of footways through the Welsh Government and Westminster Government.
Put simply, if you obstruct bus lanes, yellow box junctions etc, there’s a fine coming your way. The document specifies “bus and cycle provisions” so this presumably means bus lanes, which cyclists can also use. Here’s hoping it’ll apply to cycle lanes too, but I guess it depends how the regulations are worded.
The council is also hoping to be able to clamp down on people obstructing footways (pavement parkers!).
Action 7.1 Parking Tariffs
There will be a presumption against the provision of free on and off‐street parking in the City Centre. The control of district centre and other Council controlled car parks will be considered on an individual basis and in accordance with operational needs. This will be undertaken via appropriate consultation.
This, to you and us, means that we’re going to be seeing a lot more “residents only” parking around the city centre. Where there remains a reasonably large proportion of free parking relative to residents only spaces around Roath, Cathays and Canton, this is going to shift up towards 75% residents only in some cases.
Action 7.2 Parking Tariffs
The tariff for parking spaces in the city centre, being either in surface car parks or on‐street, will be increased incrementally over a period of time, to a level relative to comparable cities and private car parks in the city centre.
Action 7.3 Parking Tariffs
In considering the level of parking charges Cardiff Council will have regard to changes in the retail price index, rises in the cost of public transport, the charges made by private parking operators and those levied by other cities where appropriate.
Action 7.4 Parking Tariffs
In setting charges there will be a presumption towards ensuring charges are reflect a city wide core tariff. This will be varied by setting appropriate levels of exemption and/or restriction (e.g. length of stay/free parking period/’early bird’ rates) according to location.
We don’t believe these three actions need an explanation. Expect prices to increase more readily in line with private car parks in the area, the location and the retail price index.
Action 7.5 Park and Ride and Public Transport
Cardiff Council will continue to promote the use of Park and Ride and Public Transport as an alternative for long stay parking as part of this programme.
We already have a few Park & Ride areas around the city and there’s a few more on the way. Additional Park and Ride facilities are proposed for Cardiff North, located on the border of Cardiff with Rhondda Cynon Taf and in the Vale of Glamorgan around Junction 34.
They’re aiming to make it the cheaper option and ensure it stays that way…
Action 7.6 Blue Badge Parking
It is proposed that, subject to consultation, a time limit for free parking with a blue badge will be applied both to dedicated disabled parking spaces and to short stay pay‐and‐display spaces around the city centre. 13
Options for charging for Blue Badge Parking, where appropriate, will be investigated.
This is one thing that needs to be managed very carefully. If you’re a blue badge holder, there’s a pretty good chance that your mobility is limited and the car will be the most sensible option.
Action 7.7 City Centre Buffer Area
A buffer area has been created to discourage commuter parking on the periphery of the existing city centre controlled parking zone. This will be subject to consultation, and ongoing monitoring and will be appropriately adapted to reflect the needs of the areas it covers.
An additional zone at the edge of the city, intended to discourage people from parking a bit further out and walking in. The zone extends to Penarth Marina in the west; the river Rhymney in the east and around Heath Halt in the north.
Action 7.8 Resident Parking
Cardiff Council will monitor and adjust residents parking schemes where appropriate in accordance with its policies. The criteria and operational features of these schemes are contained within the current Council approved resident permit policy and will be reviewed periodically as necessary beyond 2017.
If you have residents parking on your street, there’s a chance it’ll be reviewed & changed over the next few years. As mentioned above, expect more of your street to become residents only.
Action 7.11 Parking in New Developments
The Supplementary Planning Guidance: Access, Circulation and Parking requirements (2010) and any subsequent revision or replacement of this document will be referred to for guidelines concerning the appropriate level of parking for new developments in Cardiff.
Here they are worried that new developments, such as those down in Cardiff Bay, generate additional traffic when too much parking is provided. Expect new developments to come with a bit less parking than they used to.
Action 7.12 Business Permits
Cardiff Council will review, monitor and adjust its business parking schemes in car parks as appropriate and will consider the provision and costs of these where they are installed in the city in accordance with its policies.
The council has been piloting a Business Parking Permit system around Riverside. The council are looking to extend this to other areas. It does say that “Permits will not be issued for commuting to work, loading and unloading goods, or trips such as visiting the bank.”
Action 8.1 Road User Hierarchy
In implementing its Parking Strategy Cardiff Council will have regard to the road user hierarchy and other best practice and guidance to ensure that the needs of all road users are appropriately considered.
Although it may not feel like it sometimes, we cyclists sit in 2nd place behind pedestrians, but way ahead of “other motor traffic” in terms of priority. This leads us conveniently onto:
Action 8.3 Cycle Parking
Cardiff Council will work to provide secure parking facilities for cyclists at key employment, education, shopping, leisure destinations and public transport interchanges as part of its work to deliver the Strategic Cycle Network. New developments will be expected to provide Cycle Parking in accordance with the SPG.
The council has a programme to install additional cycle stands across the city and has standards for installation of cycle parking for new developments. They also have a scheme to provide organisations with free cycle stands for employee and visitor use.
The consultation runs until the 16th December 2015. On the surface, whilst we’re sure some with a keener eye will pick holes in it, we see it as a short, incremental step in the right direction. It’s not particularly bold, as strategies go, but it makes the right noises and takes us a little further along on our journey to becoming a liveable city.
At the end of the day, actions to curb motoring need to be balanced with the pace (or lack thereof) of public transport improvements. However, the thinner the herd gets, the easier life on two wheels should become.
Once again, if you have any comments –let’s face it, this will have an impact on us too, feel free to email the council directly or comment below and we’ll pass them along.