MAP: Major review of Plymouth parking charges
SHOPPERS will be able to park for free for up to 15 minutes in the West End of Plymouth.
And a new 30-minute stay in pay and display bays right across the city is to be introduced as part of a shake-up of parking.
As reported in The Herald last week, Plymouth City Council is overhauling its parking tariffs.
Proposals include a free 15-minute parking period in the city centre's West End to support independent traders, whose customers usually want to pop in for just one or two items.
View Plymouth City Centre Public Car Parks in a larger map
Elsewhere in the city hours will be extended so charges apply from 8am to 10pm at all pay and display bays.
The 30-minute stay will allow motorists the option to park for half an hour for 70p. This tariff, now only available in a few places in Plymouth, is designed to help shoppers who only need to pick up a few things.
Under the reforms approved by Cllr Mark Coker, cabinet member for transport, there will be no increase to the hourly rate in car parks or pay and display bays.
A new single tariff will be introduced for all on-street parking in the city from 8am to 10pm. In some areas this will mean that charges apply earlier or later in the day than they do now.
A council spokeswoman said the single tariff would simplify charges and make them consistent across the city.
She said the changes taken together were expected to be "revenue neutral" – raising about the same amount of money for the council.
Visitors to Mount Edgcumbe, using the Cremyll ferry, will face a new £1 an hour charge in the Strand Street car park, which is currently free. The car park will be renamed Cremyll Ferry car park.
The new charge is designed to discourage commuters and residents and free up spaces for people wanting to visit Mount Edgcumbe by ferry.
Residents will, however, be allowed to use the car park from 6pm to 8am. A Cremyll Ferry timetable will also be put up in the car park.
Many of the city's pay and display bays will be made "mixed use", meaning they can be used by resident and business permit holders as well as paying visitors.
A council spokeswoman said: "This will ensure much-needed spaces aren't left empty during working hours and will be of particular benefit in areas where there are currently lots of different arrangements along one road, as it will reduce confusion."
Daily visitor tickets, which are permits bought by guesthouses and hotels for their guests, will go up from £2 to £3, but will be valid until 10am the next morning, to allow guests enough time to check out.
Residents' permit restrictions in zones F (Glen Park) and J (North Hill) will be extended so they apply at all times. This will help to prevent commuters and other non-residents parking in these zones to avoid pay and display charges and keep bays free for residents.
Cllr Coker said: "This is probably the widest ranging review of parking in the city for some time and is desperately needed. It should make charges much simpler and less confusing and make better use of road space, especially where this is at a premium.
"It will also help to boost the local economy by supporting businesses, visitors and shoppers."
The proposals will be formally advertised from Monday, August 19. If approved, the changes are expected to be implemented on October 1.
The decision to advertise the proposals has been signed off by Cllr Coker under delegated authority and can be called in for scrutiny.