Balancing act for man in charge of Derbyshire Dales parking review

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Dales residents and visitors could face increased parking charges, bills for household permits and night-time fees.

The district council is reviewing parking for the first time in a decade.

The suggestions – which also include a 30-minute charge in town centres and new machines which will allow people to pay by card – will be considered by the Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Environment Committee on May 16.

There will be public consultation on the plans before a final vote in July, and any changes will come into force from October 1.

Director of Planning & Housing Services Paul Wilson, who is leading the parking review, said: “We are conscious that we are exploring some sensitive areas and there’s every chance that some of the initial recommendations could be amended or dropped altogether. However, this review is long overdue, so we have gone to great lengths to check how the Derbyshire Dales’ current policy compares with similar destinations across the UK.

“Car parking income currently plays a huge part in meeting the cost of services for the 6.9 million visitors to the Derbyshire Dales every year.

“Without car parking income from paying visitors, Council Tax payers across the Dales would face a rise of over 35% to replace lost income, so a key aim of the review is to create a new policy that at least maintains the current level of income at around £2.5-million a year.

“We are trying to strike a balance between encouraging use of our car parks to boost the Dales economy while protecting local Council Tax payers who would rightly feel aggrieved at the idea of being asked to contribute more to help people who visit the district.”

He added: “For an area like the Derbyshire Dales, which receives less Government cash than any other area in the county, there are consequences to adjusting a vital income stream.”

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