Mixed fortunes for town’s motorists as  new council car park prices announced

Crescent Road car park

Mixed fortunes for town’s motorists as new council car park prices announced

by William Mata | 14th November 2018

SWEEPING changes to parking in Tunbridge Wells are being planned, which could see some motorists charged an extra £237 annually, but others save £335.

The Borough Council wants to overhaul its permit and season ticket system from April 1 with more online payments making it ‘easier to administer’.

Hourly rates are set to remain the same although the council has not ruled out charging residents a higher rate for a second parking permit.

Cllr David Neve was the only member of the by the authority’s Tory-run Planning and Transport Advisory Board to vote against proposals on Monday [November 12].

The Liberal Democrat attacked the policy as a ‘six to one victory for the council over residents’.

The plans, which could be rubber-stamped by the authority’s Cabinet on December 6, propose the following:

  • Four day season tickets for Meadow Road and Crescent Road [currently £630 a year] as well as Camden Road [£603] shall be raised to £840.
  • The council said this is to close a loophole of drivers buying a four day season ticket and then buying a daily pass for the fifth.
  • A season ticket for High Brooms will rise to £200 [60 per cent] from £125.
  • Residents who live close to Crescent Road car park will be able to use the car park for £200, reduced from the previous £535. That’s a saving of £335 or 63 per cent.
  • Residential car parking permits for Stone Street [currently £140 per year] will be increased by 42 per cent to £200 initially and then with three further

increases of £70 and one of £60 over four years.
Cllr Neve said: “There are six increases in charges for residents and one reduction, so as the FA Cup kicks off it’s a one sided scoreline.

“As the 6-1 scoreline shows, these proposals are almost only good news for the council.”

He added that the council was wanting to double the permit price for a second car.

On this he said: “The plan might hurt families who need to be in two places which are hard to access by public transport.”

Council Deputy Leader Alan McDermott led the rally for the proposals, which were passed by seven votes to one.

A consultation is likely to begin once the Cabinet has voted on plans.

A spokesperson for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said: “The recommendations in the report were approved by the committee.

“During the meeting members discussed the charges for second vehicle permits.

“But it was agreed that this matter would be best considered at a future date as part of the wider parking strategy.”

  • Additional changes include:
  • ‘Scratch card’ tickets will be replaced by a virtual permit.n The council’s ‘bulk business rate’ discount, which allows firms to make a large booking for a cheaper price, will be discontinued. 
  • Overnight parking permits will also be stopped at Royal Victoria Place, Crescent Road, Town Hall Yard and Torrington Car Park.
  • A system by which customers could pay for tickets in one month instalments will cease, with a 12 month payment the only option. This means motorists would lose their £50 deposit if they cancel their season ticket within that period.

To see the full proposals, visit: tunbridgewells.gov.uk

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