Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Consultation begins on new parking strategy in Darlington
MULTI-STOREY car parks and restrictions on town centre parking are some of the suggestions being put forward by a council to transform parking in a North-East town.
Residents, shoppers and business owners in Darlington are being urged to have their say on the council’s draft parking strategy for 2014 to 2026, which includes plans for a £6m multi-storey car park for 600 vehicles to accommodate for visitors to the proposed £30million Feethams cinema and hotel development.
Also included in the strategy are proposals for on-street pay and display parking on Cockerton Green, and a three-hour limit on the Abbott’s Yard car park in the town centre to encourage a higher turnover and increase footfall in the town centre.
The strategy was developed after consultation with residents, business owners and special interest groups, and comes months after Middlesbrough Council launched an initiative to increase footfall in the town by offering two hours of free parking in all authority operated car parks.
The current charges of £1 per hour or £4 per day for the majority of Darlington Borough Council operated car parks are set to stay until 2014 and will be reviewed annually, with council leader, Bill Dixon, ruling out any reduction in tariffs.
“I doubt very much that we could make them any cheaper,” he said. “We want people’s views on where we go with parking, but what people need to remember is we need to have a parking strategy, we can’t just have a free for all.
“If that was the case it may be you could get parked fine on one day, but not be able to get your car out on the next.
“Car parking charges are used for a variety of reasons. At least half of the money goes on maintaining the car parks and CCTV – you are paying for the security.”
Current signage will also be reviewed as part of the strategy and pay on foot ticket machines are set to be introduced in all new multi-storey car parks to allow users to pay for tickets when returning to their cars.
Consultation sessions will be held on Friday, September 6 from 9.30am to noon and Wednesday, September 11 from 5pm to 7pm in the Dolphin Centre reception, as well as Saturday, September 14 from 9.30am to noon in Darlington town centre.
A session for people living in residents parking zones will be held on Monday, September 23 from 5pm to 7pm in the studio at the Dolphin Centre.
Alternatively an online form can be completed at darlington.gov.uk/parkingconsultation. The consultation closes on Monday, September 30.