Car park charge rises 'could force businesses to close'


Staff member
View attachment 453

Increases to charges at some Cornish car parks could force already struggling retailers to close down, according to Chambers of Commerce across the Duchy.
Cornwall Council is facing a £3 million deficit in its parking budget after income levels dropped and a raft of unexpected costs came to light following the transition to a unitary authority.
The recession and the cold snap in the run up to Christmas is being blamed for a drop in income of around £1.8 million. At the same time, costs have risen after it emerged that the council owed money to the owners of car parks through rent or profit sharing arrangements.
Several of these have only come to light recently as, under the previous district council system, charges were associated with different areas of the budget, instead of the councils' parking accounts.
In has emerged that in one case, one of the former district councils had not paid the owner of a car park for several years. In some cases, maintenance work had been scheduled by the former district council with payments going through a general budget.
Cornwall Council has now assigned these payments to the parking budget – resulting in a significant overspend.
A parking panel was set up in 2009 to consider the issue and to put forward suggestions on how changes could be made in a way that would have the least possible impact on businesses.
But after the overspend came to light, the panel's proposals – to increase some charges and decrease others – were amended so that only increases in charges were approved.
Richard Glover, chief executive of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, said: "The majority of businesses that responded to our consultations supported the notion that charges should be fair across Cornwall. The decision exploits the proposed increases but reneges on the proposed reductions elsewhere."
He added: "There are already businesses in town centres that are wondering if they should close down and this will be straw that breaks the camel's back."
Mike Waters, chairman of Penzance Chamber of Commerce, accused the council of showing "a total disregard" for the people of Cornwall.
"The high level of parking charges does nothing to help struggling town centres cope at a time when businesses are facing large rent rises, significantly hiked business rates as well as dealing with the downturn," he said.
Charges in some car parks, for example those in Penzance, will remain the same but those in Saltash, Gunnislake, Torpoint and Liskeard will double in price from 20p for the first hour to 40p.
Graeme Hicks, Cornwall Council cabinet member for transportation and highways, said: "The parking panel has had these spaces valued at the market rate and have demonstrated that in some areas a significant subsidy is offered to residents against the market rate."
As well as seeking additional income from parking charges, the council has also cut back on the number of seasonal staff for car parks and routine maintenance.
Recruiting additional traffic wardens is also an option the council intends to pursue.The changes are likely to be implemented between now and April, after amended public notices have been advertised.
Cornwall Council will now begin discussions with town and parish councils about returning the control of car parks to them over the next few years.
Cornwall news, Jobs, Sports, Cars, Homes | This is Cornwall


so efectively what they are saying is that we have been running the car parks with imence incompetancy & we are going to cerry on doing this while charging you even more for the privilage & hope that we wont afect


Staff member
ahem, looks like it! I personally think that the cornwall council car parks in PZ are too overpriced already, & especially if you havent the correct money as the machines do not give change, and too increase them even more will just see an increase on car owners parking their cars else where, in places areas where they shouldnt park or for arguments sake in MJS where I have noticed of late many car owners parking up and going for a stroll.
so glad I walk into town! and havent the stress of finding a space to park the car.


Major Contributor
Raving aside, what is the reasonable alternative across the counties. Charges in relation to vehicle cost?


too increase them even more will just see an increase on car owners parking their cars else where
I think that might be the reason Sparky. I guess Cornwall Council make more money from a parking ticket than a car park ticket.
It is ironic that they say that they need to increase the parking rates, yet other parts of Cornwall has different rates (cheaper). Yet the council claims that the increase id because the council are going broke and need the extra revenue.... So why change all the car park signs then? Why go through the additioanl expense of replacing the entire aluminium signs rather than changing the price on the existing signs?
Top Bottom