Car parking review provides a ‘real shift to localism’ in Council Redesign
The results of a recent car parking review requested by The Highland Council’s Redesign Board have created a vision for car parking and a shift towards localism in the region.
Members of the Redesign Board have agreed a common ground on recommendations for a new car parking policy and improvements to car parking processes in the local authority area.
Chair of the Redesign Board, Highland Council Convener, Cllr Bill Lobban said: “This is the combination of a very substantial piece of work for the Redesign Board and I would like to thank the officers involved for the considerable amount of their time and effort involved in getting the review to this stage.”
Councillors on the Redesign Board have agreed to recommend to The Highland Council a new ‘vision for parking’ that will addresses traffic management, integrated transport and active travel; and local economic growth and tourism. The new vision will provide opportunities that meet the aspirations of users while allowing local informed decision making. Delivered in a cost effective way, the vision will be based on transparent rules which are applied consistently and fairly across Highland. The vision will also ensure that parking revenue contributes to local infrastructure improvement, and any other local priorities as agreed by local committees; and it will ensure that pricing strategies are adopted which differentiate the market (e.g. residents, visitors and shoppers) and support behavioural change.
The Board also agreed to recommend to Council that the budget and decisions on car parking be devolved to local committees; that local benefit from car parking opportunities be reinvested locally; and that new ways are introduced to support local Members makes choices and decisions on local car parking.
As part of the Council’s budget setting process for 2019/20 and subsequent years, rather than setting any single corporate target for off-street car parking, the Redesign Board is recommending that the Council would set a revenue target for local committees instead.
In the recommendations to Council it was also agreed that a revised car parking policy is also considered at the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee and that no recommendations are made to the Council on workplace charging for car parking.