The Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet has approved a report to implement parking charges at Cosmeston, Pothkerry Country Park, Wyndham Street and Cowbridge Town Hall.
In a report which was presented to Cabinet on Monday 5th October, it was recommended that car parking charges could be implemented as soon as ticket machines are available at Porthkerry Country Park, unless covid-19 restrictions are in place, in which case charges would not be implemented until the local restrictions have been lifted.
Charges will not be brought in at Cosmeston Country Park until local restrictions have been lifted and in conjunction with the control for displacement parking.
At Wyndham Street Car Park in Barry and Cowbridge Town Hall Car Park, charges will be introduced from 1st April 2021, unless covid-19 restrictions are still in place.
The charges are to be brought in despite concerns raised by members of the public, with 22% respondents raising general concerns with parking on residential streets in close proximity to car parks where charges are being proposed.
However, more notable concerns were raised about parking near Cosmeston and Porthkerry Country Parks, with the report stating that "Residents voiced concerns where charges had been brought in historically, or more recently, where the carparks have been closed due to Covid-19, the displacement had caused localised parking issues."
Residents also raised concerns about the "uncertainty of the future", "potential increase in pollution by people who cruise looking for free parking", "timing of the proposal", and that "charges should be more significant for the whole day cost" - but despite this, the recommendations were approved by the Councils Cabinet on Monday 5th October.
The charging period for Wyndham Street and Cowbridge Town Hall is proposed as 08:00hrs to 18:00hrs 6 days per week (Monday to Saturday) with no charges on a Sunday. Up to 2 hours will be free, up to 4 hours £2.00 and all day for £6.00.
It is proposed to charge at both Cosmeston Lakes and Porthkerry Country
Park all year round. After 10am up to 2 hours parking is proposed as £1.00,
up to 4 hours £2.00 and all day £4.00 with bus/coach £30.00 all day.
The report confirms that parking permits will be available, with permits at Country Park car parks available for 6 months at £30 or £50 per annum, which can be used at either County Park. Disabled persons with blue badges would be able to park for free.
Permits for Wyndham Street and Cowbridge Town Hall car parks would be available for 6 months at £30 or £50 per annum.
Cllr Neil Moore, Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: “Given the continual year-on-year reductions in the settlement afforded to the Council, we must consider our approach to the management of car parking and other services across the Vale. That has to include car parking, which is not a statutory duty to provide.
“The introduction of car park charges at the locations covered within the report of 5 October, as well as the coastal resorts, has been the subject of lengthy engagement, consultation and debate. The proposals were approved following a process of scrutiny by Elected Members of the Council, who agreed them at the two all-party Scrutiny Meetings.
“In terms of town centre charging in Barry and Cowbridge, for those that wish to park in the designated shoppers’ car parks for longer than two hours, charges will apply Monday to Saturday from 8am until 6pm each day, but not on Sundays. If anyone wishes to park for longer than two hours there is a charge of £2 for up to four hours and £6 all day. However, there are no on-street charges and a substantial amount of free car parking is available elsewhere, as covered in the report.
“It was also made absolutely clear that these charges would not be imposed until after any Covid-19 local restrictions have been lifted.
“In terms of the Country Parks at Cosmeston and Porthkerry, the car parks will still be free to use for significant periods, with disabled badge holders having free parking at any time. There will be no charge for parking before 10am and after 8pm from March 1 to September 30. It will also be free before 10am and after 5pm from October 1 to the end of February. The charges proposed thereafter are low with a maximum charge of £4 per day at our country parks. Longer-term permits for parking at either country park will cost £30 for six months and £50 a year. That means the annual pass works out as less than 14p per day.
“Again, it was made absolutely clear that these charges will not be imposed until after any Covid-19 local restrictions have been lifted, as we appreciate the added importance of access to outdoor space to residents at this time. Added to that, we are currently undertaking a consultation exercise in relation to Resident Parking Permit Restrictions in and around Lavernock Road, near Cosmeston. I can again confirm that we will not be imposing any charges in Cosmeston until those residential parking arrangements are in place.
“We have made it clear that it is vital that we recoup the costs linked to car parking provision. These car parks are used by many people from outside the Vale of Glamorgan as well as residents. It is reasonable that visitors should help pay for their upkeep and all money generated will be used for this purpose.”
The full report can be read via the Vale of Glamorgan Council Website.