04:03PM, Friday 27 November 2020
The Royal Borough's parking strategy was debated and adopted at a cabinet meeting this week, one month after it was originally due to be presented to councillors.
Cllr David Cannon, the council's lead member for parking, presented the five-year parking strategy at yesterday's meeting (Thursday), which details all things car parking in the borough up to 2025.
The paper was due to be debated at October’s cabinet, but was deferred at late notice - leaving one Lib Dem councillor ‘absolutely livid’.
But the document was presented in front of cabinet this time around with Cllr Cannon facing questions from opposition members, after a number of his Tory colleagues had commended the report.
Cllr Amy Tisi (Lib Dem, Clewer East) was outspoken this week about there not being ‘much meat on the bones’ of the strategy.
She told cabinet that she ‘welcomed’ the report, but it was ‘a little bit light on detail’.
“I think some of my residents might be a little disappointed that it does not solve all their parking woes overnight, but I like that it sets out the direction of travel,” Cllr Tisi said.
The Liberal Democrat then highlighted some key issues in the strategy she wished for Cllr Cannon to clarify.
Cllr Tisi asked whether parking tariffs will be standardised across the borough – claiming that Windsor residents were paying more than others to park.
She also questioned the existing Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs). These are areas where on-street parking is restricted during specified times.
Cllr Tisi referred to a section of the cabinet report surrounding the possibility of the council making these zones ‘shared-use’.
This allows the public to park in these spaces at times when resident use is low, normally related to a time limit such as 8am- 6pm on weekdays.
“This has got the potential to go wrong. I would like Cllr Cannon to tread carefully there and consult with residents if possible,” Cllr Tisi said, claiming that some residents may not have anywhere to park if they return from work at 5pm.
The Clewer East councillor’s last question related to Resident Parking Zones (RPZs). She argued that these have been created in a ‘haphazard’ way and called for a full review.
RPZs are areas where parking is controlled to benefit residents, businesses and visitors.
Cllr Cannon responded to each of the concerns in turn.
With regards to parking tariff standardisations, he said there were ‘strange variances’ across the borough and that Windsor has ‘historically’ experienced higher car parking charges due to its attraction for tourists.
“There will be a standard review of about six tariffs,” Cllrr Cannon said.
“The parking strategy will be looking at identifying short-stay and long-stay tariffs for various car parks. There will be equanimity across both towns.”
On the shared use of CPZs, he said the scheme would be a way of using up ‘day-time capacity’, which he said the borough will have when the ‘world returns to its normal state’.
“With lots of people being encouraged to work from home, that is something we will not be bringing in at this stage,” he said.
“But when we return to any form of normality when commuters leave the resident zones during the day, there will be periods of time where [some of them] may have the ability to move to shared use.
“But this would be through the commuter times, so residents – when they are there in mornings and evenings – would have sole use.”
Finally, on the issue of RPZs, Cllr Cannon acknowledged that these had been created in a ‘piecemeal manner’ by former colleagues.
“We now need to go and review all the existing ones to see what the impacts are in surrounding streets,” he said.
Later in the meeting, Cllr Helen Taylor (TBF, Oldfield) questioned whether ‘pop in, pop out’, 30-minute restricted parking spaces could be extended to an hour to encourage people to dive into town centres, rather than searching multi-storey car parks for spaces.
Cllr Cannon asked if she could contact him to discuss more on this.
The idea of a borough Park and Ride was also floated by Cllr Taylor, which the borough’s parking lead said he was ‘very open to’.
Cllr Cannon said: “It is supportive of the environmental strategy and reducing the number of vehicles entering towns. It is something that is on the radar for us to look at.
“But again, finances may push it back. It’s not going to be next week.”
Cabinet later approved the parking strategy.
Also at yesterday's meeting, Cllr Cannon set out plans for free parking in Windsor and Maidenhead car parks as the festive season approaches.
Top Ten Articles
Concerns have been raised by residents after they were ‘stopped and challenged’ by police when driving yesterday (Tuesday) for shopping and exercising.
The number of patients with COVID-19 at hospitals run by the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust has risen to more than 250.