Parking improvement plan for Northwich revealed

2 August 2018

An action plan to ensure parking in Northwich is fit for purpose and positively contributes to the town’s economy has been published.
The plan, designed to better manage car parking demand across the town, is part of the Council’s 15-year parking strategy.
The plan will see the Council continue to offer free parking options in the town centre, along with modest, consistent tariffs and other controls, such as length of stay restrictions, implemented across different car parks and a clear investment programme to improve the quality of car parking and attract more visitors and shoppers.
The plans will help to release more short-say capacity in central car parks while encouraging long-stay parking in car parks on the edges of the town.  There will be a reduction in daily tariffs for season pass holders.
Well managed parking facilities are essential to support the numerous regeneration projects in Northwich which will invest in and improve the town.  A new masterplan was recently unveiled for the Weaver Square area, to create a vibrant new neighbourhood for the town to complement previous investments including the development of Barons Quay and public realm improvements on Witton Street, part of a package of measures to ensure that Northwich thrives.
Surveys into car park usage have shown that central car parks in particular are being used to full capacity both on weekdays and to some extent on Saturdays.  This is resulting in traffic queues as people search for a parking space.  
The plan therefore includes controls for central and edge of town car parks to release more capacity for short-stay shoppers by encouraging long-stay commuters to use more outlying car parks.
Blue badge holders will be able to park for free for up to four hours and borough residents can register for a special micro-chip blue badge for use in some large ANPR controlled car parks, as is already the case in Chester.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore, said: “Over the coming years, the Council needs to invest in car parks so that we have enough clean and safe spaces, in the right places, with clear signage and new technology to make it easier and more convenient for people coming to Northwich town centre by car.
“When this action plan is implemented parking in Northwich will be easier and more accessible for everyone, supporting residents and businesses.  Parking charges and other controls will ensure everyone can park where they need to, when they need to. 
“Land available for car parking is decreasing but population and car ownership rates are steadily rising.
“With this action plan for Northwich we are introducing the right controls in the right places to release capacity for short stay parking to boost businesses, encourage visitors and also to improve car park quality.”
Key actions within the plan include:
Introduction of parking tariffs and other controls
It is planned to introduce parking charges and other controls will be introduced at some locations by the end of November 2018 to support short stay parking in central car parks and alleviate blockages caused by long-stay commuter use.  Some will remain free of charge, such as the Old Depot car park on the edge of town, to encourage long-stay use.
The recommended new tariffs and controls are as follows:

Car Park and new tariffs

Market, Victoria Club and Watermans    
  • One to two hours = 20p
  • Three to four hours = 50p
  • Five to six hours = £1
  • Seven to ten hours = £3
Barons Quay
  • Free
Verdin and Memorial Court    
  • One to two hours = 20p
  • Three to four hours = 50p
  • Five to six hours = 80p
  • Seven to eight hours = £1.10
  • Nine to ten hours = £1.50
(with a three hour free period for leisure centre users at Memorial Court)

Cumberland St  
  • £1
Old Depot Site, Zion St and Park Street
  • Free
Investment in maintaining and improving car parks

The Council has committed to ensure that:
  • car parks are safe and clean
  • we have enough parking for people with mobility problems
  • we have good signage 
  • we use new technology to make visits easier and flexible
To support this, local parking provision in need of maintenance has been identified within the action plan and a programme of long-term investment will ensure that all facilities are brought up to standard.
A programme of quality improvement works is planned to start October 2018.
The works to be carried out will raise the standard of the most used car parks to the best industry standard:
  • Lighting and CCTV improvements will be carried out to improve driver safety and the users’ experience, particularly after dark
  • Signage within car parks and on streets directing drivers to the most suitable car park, including up-to-date information on space availability, will assist visitors
  • The introduction of new technology offering a range of payment methods, including cards and phones will make visits easier and more flexible.
  • Improving the size, quality and number of spaces for drivers with mobility issues.
Public notices will be published shortly regarding the introduction of parking tariffs and controls at Northwich’s Council-run car parks and representations can be made during the following statutory consultation period.

The full action plan can be found on the Council’s website.

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