COUNCIL chiefs look set to u-turn on scrapping concessionary parking permits for pensioners in Stratford.
Members of Stratford District Council’s Cabinet will consider a proposal which would see the reintroduction of concessionary permits for residents of state pension age, when they meet on Monday (June 2).
They will also consider whether to approve plans to end free parking at Fisherman’s car park on Warwick Road at the same meeting.
Back in January 2021, the Cabinet resolved a shake-up to parking in the town which included abolishing the concessionary over 65s permit, introducing charging in Fisherman’s Car Park, increasing the hourly tariffs at Stratford Leisure Centre for coaches, lorries and motorhomes and increasing the leisure centre’s overnight charges for all vehicles, both in line with inflation.
The new parking charges are yet to be reinforced but the pensioner concessionary permits were abolished.
Now, however, councillors are being advised to have a rethink and reintroduce the permits – but on a number of conditions. These include an initial cost to pensioners of £50 a year, subject to inflation, and providing a maximum stay of four hours a day between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Sunday.
Officers are recommending the Cabinet approve the proposal to reintroduce the concessionary permits as it will encourage more people of state pension age to come into Stratford to interact, as well as providing more affordable access to open spaces and leisure facilities.
Meanwhile free parking at Fisherman’s car park could end and the cost of parking in other town centre car parks rise with inflation from August.
SDC ran a consultation exercise and no comments were received regarding the proposed inflationary increases to existing charges but 12 comments were received about the introduction of charges at Fisherman’s car park.
In response to these comments, it is proposed that charging is only implemented between the hours of 9am and 6pm seven days a week for the benefit of dog walkers, runners, wild swimmers, paddle boarders, etc.
Additionally, in response to these comments, it is proposed that an annual permit be provided for use at Fisherman’s Car Park at an initial cost of £150 per annum or £50 per quarter for the benefit of residents.
Two solar powered, card only pay and display machines will be installed at the car park.
Officers are recommending the Cabinet give approval to the revised parking charges as otherwise SDC face a significant loss of budgeted income.
The council’s financial strategy has been prepared on the basis the parking charges will be effective from August 1 and provide £185,425 additional pay and display income and £60,000 from the new parking charges of Fisherman’s Car Park.
Delays to the implementation of any revised charge would see a budgetary pressure that would need to be funded.
Free parking is still available at Bridgeway Multi-Storey and Bridgeway surface car parks for up to one hour, and disabled parking for blue badge holders remains free of charge.