Agenda item

Breckland Council Car Parks Review (Agenda Item 6)

Report of the Operations Manager – Commercial Services.


The Acting Operations Manager (Commercial Services) and the Project Manager presented the report, which informed members of the background to the development of the car parks review and progress to date.


The work done to date followed the policies and improvement and action plan arising from the Best Value Service Review carried out in 2001, which had set the overarching principles to be applied across the service in terms of why and what type of parking should be provided by Breckland, that short and long term parking orders would be introduced, with a regular enforcement regime established to maintain compliance with car parking orders.


A number of consultation events had taken place over the intervening period in Thetford and Dereham involving all relevant stakeholders and these had confirmed that the overarching principles were still valid and that the towns would welcome practical progress on implementation of these policies. 


During 2006, it had been possible to take advantage of some last minute funding opportunities which had enabled some improvement works to be carried out to car parks at White Hart Street and Castle Street, Thetford, and Cowper Road, Dereham.


The preparation of detailed design proposals for some sites had brought to light new issues that would require members’ guidance before physical arrangements could be confirmed, for example the question of inclusion of residents’ parking, ‘Park Mark’ accreditation and displacement of coach and/or HGV use.


Further feasibility works at Thetford would be linked in with the “Moving Thetford Forward” programme and consultations were ongoing at Dereham.


Although designs were being progress across the District, members were informed that there was currently insufficient approved budget remaining for further major car park works.


The next phase of the review was to begin work on producing an overall scheme for each town, commencing with Dereham which it was felt would give the best insight into developments to date and enable an assessment to be made for the new standard for physical improvements from the Cowper Road pilot scheme.  It was proposed to run workshops to examine the issues in detail and it was suggested that the members of the Panel should participate in these workshops.


During the ensuing discussion, members concurred with the view that it was desirable to set overall standards for the management and maintenance of the Council’s car parks whilst allowing for the individual and varied needs of the towns to be met.  The importance of having regard to strategic and other influences, such as public transport, traffic flow, links with trunk routes, parking for commuters, day-time parking for local workers, etc. was also acknowledged. 


In answer to a question, it was explained that the question of car park charges did not form part of this review, although it was acceded that the issue might be raised through the wider debating arena.


It was agreed that the membership of the Panel provided a sufficient representation of the towns and rural areas, with the exception that there was no Attleborough ward member on the Panel.


It was noted that it was intended that the findings and recommendations arising from the member workshops would be disseminated out to the wider consultation forums for public consideration.


Members welcomed the report and


         RESOLVED that the members of the Panel participate in the proposed car park workshops and that the officers be asked to ensure member representation for Attleborough is included. 


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