Report of the Director of Built Environment.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of the Built Environment updating Members on the short, medium and long-term strategies approved in the last major report on public off-street car parking in November 2018.
The Director of the Built Environment introduced the report and outlined the key points for Members. The report set out how officers were addressing issues around off-street parking and car park facilities. The second of two agreed tariff increases would be implemented in April 2019 (approved in a previous report) and the new Transport Strategy provided an opportunity to address wider issues.
The Committee was advised of a significant discrepancy in residential season tickets tariffs and public car park tariffs between the City’s different car parks and that officers proposed to seek parity between the tariffs over the long term. It was also proposed to offer a discount for zero emission capable vehicles.
A Member stated that they were not happy with the report and thought that parity did not make sense. The convenience value of a car parking space below their property was why residents wanted season tickets. The Member suggested that the item be deferred so that the proposals could be looked into in more detail and in a wider context.
A Member queried why the income for the Baynard House car park was expected to drop. A Member added that he thought the thrust of the report was right, and that there was no reason why on-street provision should subsidise other provision, which should at least break even.
A Member advised the Committee that the arrangement for residential season tickets at London Wall had been agreed a number of years ago as a result of pressures on on-street parking provision.
A Member commended the strategy to utilise place and last mile logistics space, adding that consideration would also have to be given to policing and proactively monitoring cargo cycles, as they operated differently to commuter cycles.
A Member said that the aim should be that vehicles are off the street to create pavement space, and that people would only use car parks if on-street parking was not a better option. It was important to signpost to people that car parks were cheaper and more secure.
A Member added that provision of on-street parking was useful for drivers making deliveries, and they were unlikely to use car parks. It was important provision remained available and that pricing was designed for short-term parking. Car parking spaces were no longer offered to property purchasers and it was a good move to lessen longer-term on-street provision and try to get those cars into car parks. A Member added that they were reassured that a Joint Steering Group was in place and was bringing interest groups together on the issue.
A Member urged officers to be ambitious in their targets for installing additional publicly accessible electric vehicle (EV) rapid charge points.
The Director of the Built Environment responded to the points raised by Members. Until recently, the tariff for residential season tickets had not changed for over 15 years, and it was felt the changes would bring it up to a more appropriate rate. The Baynard House car park income had been higher due to a significant one-off windfall as a result of filming,and was now returning to its normal level. Members were assured that officers were looking at cargo cycling and electric charging in detail.
A Member responded that the review of the Barbican Estate was in the context of comparable estates and not in the context of public car parks. Whilst it was sensible that the residential provision should break even, parity across car parks did not make sense. The Member moved that the item be deferred until after the Transport Strategy had been brought back to Committee. As the motion was not seconded, the motion was not carried.
Arising from the discussion, the recommendations were then put to the vote amongst Members, with 22 Members voting in favour of the recommendations, 1 Member voting against the recommendations, and no abstentions.
RESOLVED – That, in relation to Baynard House, London Wall, Minories and Tower Hill car parks, the Planning and Transportation Committee:
· note that the second phase of the hourly tariff increase (previously agreed by the Committee) will take place in April 2019; and
· for non-zero-emission capable vehicles, agree to introduce a three-year phased increase in residential season tickets to align them with the rate per square meter (currently £335 per quarter).