Bucks County Council have approved plans for introducing parking charges in Marlow High Street and surrounding roads – which is at complete odds with what Marlow Town Council want for the town, given they believe it will impact Marlow’s vibrancy. You can imagine that town centre shops will not be much pleased either.
For those who are not aware – these parking spaces are currently “limited waiting bays”, ie 1 hour free parking, no return within 1 hour, 8am-6.30pm – ideal for quickly popping into town centre shops, cafes etc. Not for much longer under the new plans.
The story starts with Bucks County Council’s vision for parking, agreed in October 2016, which notes that “the provision of free limited waiting on-street parking places…. cannot continue”
This has been expanded on in a Report published in September 2017, which goes into all the detail. We have obtained a copy of this report.
The report notes that a survey was conducted concluding that “existing limited waiting bays are heavily used throughout the day but that overstay of vehicles was also a significant factor which reduces the overall capacity through a reduction in turnover of parking spaces.” The report considers it too “time consuming” for traffic wardens to enforce this properly…..
The plan is apparently aligned with national parking policy – which is to encourage use of off-street car parks. Thus any charges for parking in the affected roads would be HIGHER than the local car parks. The roads are High Street, West Street, Institute Road, The Causeway, St Peter Street and the first part of Station Road leading to it. At peak times it is near enough impossible to find a car park space in town – we hear many reports of visitors trying all car parks, only to give up and leave! So we are not sure what trying to push more people into those car parks will achieve. Furthermore, the car parks are controlled by Wycombe District Council, whereas the roads are Bucks County Council – so who knows if the two are aligned on this plan?
Obviously, funds from parking, just like any current fines would go to Bucks County Council to “contribute to the running cost of parking enforcement across the County”.
The plans do actually include provision for some extra spaces – by removing some double yellow lines at the top of the high Street and along West Street – but these would also of course be “pay and display”
We understand that Bucks County Council will have to conduct a consultation exercise, which would hopefully give the chance for the people of Marlow to respond. Of course, we will let you know when that takes place!