DERBYSHIRE DALES: One week to comment on parking review

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Dales residents have just one week left to speak out on the district council’s parking review.

The authority – which has already gauranteed that residents will keeep the popular parking permit – is now urging people to have their say before it’s too late.

The key proposals are: introduce a half hour charge within short stay car parks; designate specific car parks as short stay only; charge more currently free car parks; introduce a flat rate charge of £1 from 6pm to 6am; increase parking charges in line with inflation; offer, at a charge, a second or replacement residents’ parking permit; charge livestock market traders at Bakewell’s Agricultural Centre for their annual parking permit; charge Blue Badge holders.

The first parking review in 10 years across the Derbyshire Dales began in January 2013 and feedback has helped shape the new ideas.

Feedback is available online at www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk/parkingreview and via questionnaires available from the District Council’s reception desks at Matlock Town Hall, Bakewell Agricultural Business Centre and the District Council’s leisure centres in Ashbourne, Bakewell, Matlock and Wirksworth.

Final policy recommendations will be made in July ahead of a new car parking policy being adopted by a full meeting of the District Council on 25 July, with implementation set for 1 October this year.

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.

Paul Wilson, Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Director of Planning & Housing Services, who led the review, said: “First, no decisions have yet been made and we are delighted to have already received almost 500 responses to this public consultation.

“Our review team worked hard to draw comparisons between the Derbyshire Dales and other similar tourism destinations and it is clear that our car parks are currently among the cheapest in this respect.

“However, we are conscious that while many of the review recommendations are geared to support the local economy, there is some opposition, not least from local traders, at the idea of increasing charges to keep pace with inflation.”