Car parking changes across Amber Valley

A range of improvements to Amber Valley Borough Council’s car parking was agreed by the Full Council when it met last night in Ripley.

These include a range of measures to support local residents and businesses and to attract more shoppers into the town centres:

  • Extended free Christmas parking
  • Upgraded residents and concessionary permits
  • Introduction of more contactless / chip & pin payment machines
  • A review of the after dark parking environment
  • One Hour free parking in Ilkeston Road, Whysall St East, Whysall St West and Wilmott St car parks in Heanor

The changes to the Council’s Car Parking Strategy were the result of consultation carried out last year in which residents and businesses had their say on improvements they would like to see made. Feedback was generally positive but some residents said they did not use the car parks because of the charges.

The Council acknowledged that it would be desirable to be able to provide free car parking throughout Amber Valley, but that there were significant costs associated with providing the car parks, and, therefore free parking could have a negative effect on the provision of other council services.

The main car parking changes, include:

  • Free Christmas parking period - extended to all car park users from 2018, operating from 1pm each day from 11th to 26th December inclusive.
  • Concessionary/Upgraded Residents’ Permits - any Borough resident can obtain a permit providing free parking all day on Sundays, after 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and after 4pm on other days. Additionally, aiming to address particular pressures in Heanor, permit holders will be able to park for free in that town before 10am.
  • Contactless/Chip & Pin – as replacement machines are phased in these will include the ability to take contactless/chip and pin payments. A Belper trial has proved successful and consultation feedback also supported this move.
  • Free One Hour Parking in Heanor – this will be rolled out to four Heanor car parks to encourage people to shop locally and support Heanor town centre traders.
  • Equalise charges – this will happen across the pay and display car parks (excluding Ripley & Heanor Leisure Centres). Charges will range from 50p for up to 30 minutes in a short stay, to £2.70 for over 4 hours in a long stay.
  • Personal Safety – The consultation identified that the vast majority of people feel safe when using the car parks during daylight hours, but fewer feel safe when parking in the evening. 

Therefore, during 2018/19, it is proposed to undertake a review of the car parks, particularly with respect to the provision of lighting, to see where improvements can be implemented.

All residents of Amber Valley will continue to be sent one Residents’ Free Parking Permit which allows them free parking from 4pm until 8am the following morning (10am in Heanor).

Commenting on the new Car Parking Strategy, Regeneration Portfolio Holder, Cllr Trevor Ainsworth, said: “We would like to thank all residents and business owners who took part in the consultation, as their feedback has really helped shape the changes. The Council has already invested significant sums on improving the condition of the car parks and we believe the latest changes will encourage more people to use them, and this in turn will help improve business for local traders.” 

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