Newcastle-under-Lyme BID Fights for Fair Parking on Behalf of Members

Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Improvement District (BID) is encouraging its members to object to plans suggested by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to introduce an overnight parking charge in its car parks.

The local authority has publicised plans to revise current parking regulations via a notice in the local press, giving the opportunity for people to object until March 16th.

Commenting on the potential impact of the decision – set to affect residents, employees and visitors to the town – BID Manager, Matt Taylor, said:

“We believe that introducing the new parking charge not only threatens the attractiveness of Newcastle-under-Lyme to any potential visitors, which will ultimately be detrimental to the regeneration of the town, it also creates a new expense for residents and employees parking in the town from 8pm onwards.

The BID Management Group has raised objection to the plans previously, suggesting the following alternative actions:

- If overnight parking charges are unavoidable, an evening tariff of £1 should be implemented from 6 pm and not 8pm, reflecting the policy in Hanley, and presenting a more attractive offer than the current full price parking tariffs of up to £1.20 per hour until 9pm.

- Trialing different/simplified pricing structures to ensure that Newcastle-under-Lyme remains competitive with surrounding areas with cheaper tariffs, which the BID would help to promote. This option could be cost-neutral if car park usage consequently increases.

- Consideration of new technologies allowing pay on exit / payment by card options on Midway to encourage longer stays and make use of the car park easier.

- Review the removal of previously negotiated free parking in the BID area to support festive shopping periods and events.

These suggestions are in line with recommendations made to the Borough Council by the Alpha Parking Review, commissioned by the council itself, but to date have been disregarded.

Matt Taylor continued:

“The BID’s Management Group would like to assure our members that the BID team has, and is doing everything in its power to have an impact upon the introduction of this counter-productive overnight charge, and have made our feelings known. However, the more businesses who also express their opposition to the proposal, the more likely we are to be heard. We are therefore encouraging all BID members to write to the Chief Executive of the Council, expressing their views.”

All objections and representations relating to the Order must be made in writing and sent to the Chief Executive, Civic Offices, Merrial Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 2AG by no later than 16th March 2017.