Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 26th November 2009
Title of Item/Report
Yarm Car Parking Consultation
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report on the Yarm Car Parking Consultation.

Yarm had a long history of parking problems as a popular market town. The businesses and shops continued to enjoy a healthy trade and the demand for residential property attracted many people and mixed uses to the High Street, all of which had a demand for parking.

In June and July 2009, the Council led a consultation exercise that sought opinion on how the Council could move forward in resolving parking issues on Yarm High Street and the immediate vicinity. The objective of the exercise was to stimulate debate and capture ideas from Residents, Businesses and Shoppers of Yarm, together with that of the wider community.

This report outlined the process undertaken and the results of the recent public consultation on car parking in Yarm High Street. The consultation results provided an emerging way forward for the Council to pursue positive actions in developing solutions for Yarm.

It was a popular misconception that the traffic congestion Yarm suffers was due to the heavy traffic having to negotiate the small High Street. The junctions and road links all actually carried less traffic than they had capacity for. One of the main causes of the hold ups was due to the constant manoeuvring of traffic in and out of the side roads and parking areas. Limited availability of short and long stay parking meant that users were slowing down looking for spaces, which had been attributed to the main cause of slow moving traffic.

The current Yarm High Street car parking position was detailed within the report.

The consultation had run for four weeks and included doorstep leaflet drops, web pages, manned exhibitions and face-to-face meetings with key community groups.

The consultation exercise stimulated debate and many areas of the community were vocal for and against the principles during the exhibitions that were held. At the close of the consultation, the Council had received a total of 888 email, web and postal returns, with respondents providing views on the above key principles as well as bespoke comments.
In summary, the statistical results were reported below. As the consultation was wider than Yarm itself, the analysis was split, using postcode data, into the following categories:-

Yarm Central - Those living/operating from addresses within the Yarm High St area.
Yarm Outer - Those responding from within the Parish of Yarm.
Other - External to addresses within the Yarm Parish.

Key messages from the results were summarised as:-

* There was widespread clear support for an additional long stay car parking facility needed in Yarm.

* The support for charging for short stay car parking in Yarm had a mixed reception, but in order to be able to deliver a ‘new' long stay car park and a residents permit parking scheme, charging in the High Street would be necessary. It would also provide greater flexibility and clarity than the current Disc Zone regulations. However in the short term, there was no intention to introduce charging.

* The introduction of a residents' permit parking scheme had majority support, particularly from those within the Central Yarm area, whom were directly affected by on street commuter parking.

* The sites identified in the consultation showed that the land behind the Medical Centre (Brickyard Allotments) was the most favourable, of those listed. However, the Council was keen to pursue all options available, particularly other potential central Yarm sites.

* The consultation suggested there was no desire to extend the current disc parking form 2 hours to 3 hours maximum.

Officers would develop an action plan in recognition of the results received. The action plan would underpin a process that could be followed over the coming months to help look for solutions for parking in Yarm. This process would:-

* Actively look for positive solutions, and provide regular feedback to all partners/stakeholders.

* Look to identify sites that may be suitable to accommodate piecemeal or a full 200 space car park. The Borough Council would actively work with landowners, public bodies and other stakeholders to bring these into use, if at all possible. Issues that may need to be considered were layout/access arrangements, proximity to local amenities and any other highway/environmental concerns coming to light as we work through the details. In the short term, charges for existing car parking in Yarm would not be introduced. As sites were identified that were deliverable, charges may be introduced together with developer contributions from planning approvals which will fund bringing them into use.

* Ensure appropriate consultation be carried out with the wider community on emerging options.

* Make available a list of other sites that had been discounted on technical grounds of size, location or access so that it was clear why they could not be considered further.

Details of this consultation response were provided to Yarm Town Council on 22 October 2009.


RESOLVED that

1. The content of the consultation results for Yarm Parking be noted.

2. The following actions be endorsed:-

(i) The Council will work to develop ideas for an additional long stay car parking facility in Yarm.
(ii) The resources to support the development of car parking sites, when identified, be funded from developer contributions as a result of planning approvals and the introduction of charging for short stay car parking in Yarm High Street. However in the short term, there is no intention to introduce charging.
(iii) The introduction of a residents permit parking scheme if charging for short stay car parking were introduced.
(iv) The existing disc parking zone currently used to control car parking durations on Yarm High Street be retained at its current 2 hour maximum.

3. Authority be delegated to the Head of Technical Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport to pursue the investigation and development of suitable sites for long stay car parking.
Reasons for the Decision
To provide clarity on the Borough Council's position with regard to looking for long term solutions for the car parking issues in Yarm.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not later than Midnight on Friday 4 December 2009
Attachment

Date of Publication: 30 November 2009


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