managing car parking in pursuit of transport objectives n.
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  1. MANAGING CAR PARKING IN PURSUIT OF TRANSPORT OBJECTIVES Transportation & Asset Management Environment & Regeneration Scrutiny Committee November 2008

  2. Parking Management - History • Consultants commissioned in 2004 to develop updated parking strategy. • Considered by E&RSC in July 2005. Strategy agreed in principle subject to a number of recommendations. • Strategy deferred by Executive Board in September 2005 with an instruction to proceed with preparatory work on the delivery of Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) • DPE introduced in Wrexham on the 01 March 2008. • Eagles Meadow opened October 2008 with the provision of 970 additional car park spaces.

  3. Priorities – Short Stay Parking • WCBC only control around 16% of the total available off-street parking stock in Wrexham Town Centre (less than 1 space in every 5). • Growing perception of a shortage of parking spaces in Wrexham, especially in WCBC’s operated car parks. • This perception however is not supported by routine occupancy surveys. • - On an average week day, around 20%of spaces in WCBC’s car parks are empty (200+ spaces) • - At the weekend, this figure rises to around 30% (300+ spaces) • These figures do not take account of privately operated public car parks • - On an average weekday, over 50% of the spaces in private car parks are empty (1500+ spaces). (see handout fig.1) • Analysis of car park occupancy rates does however highlight an uneven distribution of demand across WCBC car parks i.e. some car parks are more popular than others. (see handout fig.2)

  4. Priorities – Long Stay Parking • Growing concerns regarding inappropriate all-day parking in residential fringes. • Direct consequence of a lack of attractive and affordable long stay parking in the Town Centre. • Crescent Road is the only ‘affordable’ long stay car park in Wrexham (146 Spaces). During the week, this car park operates above its design capacity (105%). • Despite recent efforts to provide sustainable alternatives with continued investment in passenger transport, walking and cycling infrastructure, this is not significantly relieving the issues surrounding commuter parking. • Appropriate provision needs to be provided to cater for the travel demands of commuters now and in the longer term.

  5. Efficiency of Transport Assets • 85% occupancy is the magic figure for best use of car parks and efficient transportation. • Those car parks operating below the 85% level are not attractive enough • Those car parks operating above the 85% are too attractive. • To achieve a more even distribution of parking demands. Tariffs structures need to reflect popularity. Handout: Figure1 • The upper levels of the Multi-storey are under performing. To improve occupancy rates in this car park, new tariffs need to be considered. • The effects of these changes is likely to result in the displacement of long stay users from other WCBC car parks. • Some displacement may occur from Crescent Rd, however due to unsettled parking conditions in this area, no changes are proposed in this car park

  6. Efficiency of Transport Assets • To mitigate the displacement impacts on Waterworld, changes to the existing tariffs need to be considered. • Existing: 1hr - 0.50 3hr - 1.50 • All Day - 4.00 • The Library and Market St car parks both regularly operate at maximum capacity which leads to inefficiencies, queuing traffic and public perceptions that there is a shortage of spaces. • These are high turnover popular car parks and the tariffs and management regime need to reflect this. • Existing: 1hr - 0.50 • 3hr - 1.50 • No changes are proposed at St Georges Crescent and St Giles as they are operating at or near ideal occupancy. Demands on these car parks will change in the future as Eagles Meadow establishes.

  7. Transport & Network Management As the first phase parking management proposals become established, the following network/parking management systems will be aspired too. • Parking Guidance Information (PGI) Systems • Providing motorists with information and helping to guide them to vacant parking spaces in city centre areas • Reducing congestion and improving traffic flows by removing circulating and queuing traffic. • Improve car park turnover and occupancy rates. • Spreading and balancing demands between available parking provisions. • This is a long term aspiration for parking and network management in the Town Centre and will require buy-in from private car parks. • Managing Future Parking Demands • Alternative parking provisions (e.g. Park & Ride) will only be viable for Wrexham when occupancy levels in WCBC and private car parks surpasses the 85% efficiency threshold or if there was a co-ordinated agreement to tackle the parking and network issues caused by long stay commuters. Stockport PGI System

  8. Residents Parking Schemes (RPS) • The following summarises some the of key points from a number of case studies from Neighbouring and well performing English Authorities. • Introduced in areas where the demand for parking by the residents and/or other visitors is greater than the number of spaces. • RPS cannot guarantee the availability of parking spaces for residents. • Most Authorities implement Residents parking ‘Zones’ covering several streets consisting of high and low parking demands. This approach protects areas which would be inconvenienced by displaced non residential vehicles. • No Authority operating RPS guarantee that their introduction will ensure the availability of parking spaces. Nor is any guarantee made that a parking space will be available adjacent to the property. • Authorities operating RPS undertake extensive consultation exercises and will only implement when there is a high level of support. • Significant associated costs with the implementation and management of RPS. Most Authorities pass this cost to residents in the form of permits. • Officers will investigate options and report back to Members for consideration.

  9. Other Priority Areas • There are a number of other parking related issues that will be progressed as part of the development of a parking management strategy for Wrexham. • Parking issues away from the Town Centre • Disabled Parking Provision (on/off street) • Parking at rail and bus interchanges • Parking Enforcement • Coach Parking • Freight Parking • Motorbike Parking • Cycle Parking

  10. Parking Management Strategy • Parking management, in the absence of hard hitting traffic restraint measures (e.g. congestion charging) is the single most effective tool at influencing travel behaviour • The relative attractiveness of the large number of private parking spaces will impact upon the performance of WCBC car parks and therefore effective, flexible and reactive management is essential. • Parking management must be seen as a fundamental transport tool and it has to be acknowledged that an effective parking strategy cannot be constrained solely by revenue generation. • 85% occupancy control will be managed based upon robust data led analysis. This will be the trigger for future tariff and length of stay reviews

  11. Moving Forward - Recommendations • Recommendations • 1. Report to Executive Board with a flexible and reactive approach to the management of car parks with a target implementation date of 01 April 09. • - spread the demand for parking more evenly • - provide an attractive alternative for long stay commuters who are currently parking in residential fringe. • - attract long stay commuters away from those car parks which are popular with short stay users. • 2. Update report to E&RSC in April 2009 considering • - Options for the development of a sustainable residents parking policy. • - Update on the development of a business case for the longer term solution to commuter parking e.g. Park & Ride, Park & Walk, additional long stay car park etc. • - Update on the feasibility of introducing a real time parking information system.