New parking improvement schemes introduced across Three Rivers District
New changes to Short-stay Car Parks in Rickmansworth, from the 16 April 2018
Three Rivers District Council has launched a new service in the short-stay car parks in Rickmansworth, offering free parking for one hour - with a small charge of only £1.00 to park for a second hour.
One hour of free parking is provided in the short-stay car parks in Rickmansworth (with two hours for £1), which also change to 4-hour maximum stay, including:
- Northway multi-storey Car Park, Upper and Lower decks
- Three Rivers House Rose Garden Car Park
- Three Rivers House Staff Car Park Upper and Lower decks (Saturdays only)
- Talbot Road Car Park 'A' (West of 9 Talbot Road)
- Ebury Road Car Park
The service enables people to park for longer in those car parks with charges of:
- £1 for the second hour
- £2.50 for up to 3 hours
- £4 for up to 4 hours
The new parking payment machines will not accept the use of cash but will accept payment cards, which can be used either as chip&PIN or contactless.
This new service will support local business and especially local retail services by making it easier for their customers to find parking in these short-stay car parks.
These car parks are intended to make parking easy for people who want to visit the town to shop, or use the many vibrant local facilities, and the introduction of a charge is expected to encourage turnover of vehicles, freeing up more of over 300 parking spaces dedicated to short-stay visitors in Rickmansworth.
The scheme was developed following a detailed study into the use of the short-stay car parks in Rickmansworth, which you can find here. This led to decisions by the full Council and Policy & Resources committee which required this scheme to be advertised. The formal notice can be found here, along with details of objections and an explanation of how these were considered and addressed.
Local Councillors responded strongly to public concerns raised over the proposed swap of the short-stay service at Northway car park with the long-stay service provided by Talbot Road (High St) car park. The agreed scheme now no longer includes this feature, which was removed following objections to the traffic order notice.
In addition to the one hour of free parking and the £1.00 for a second hour, visitors who need to park for longer in Rickmansworth will now also be able to pay to park for longer in these short-stay car parks (charges at £2.50 for three hours and £4.00 for four hours).
The changes were proposed by a cross-party Working Group including local Councillors from each political party, as part of a raft of measures to address the growing problem that providing free car parking was costing local taxpayers up to £180,000 every year. Legal guidance makes it clear that parking must be paid for by the people who use it - not subsidised by local taxpayers.
Local Councillors rejected the consultant’s recommendation to reduce free parking in short-stay car parks to only 30 minutes, choosing instead to change the ‘two hours free’ to a ‘first hour free, second hour for a pound’ service.
A further decision taken in October added a new feature, that payment would be accepted only by payment card. New machines that do not accept cash would be introduced in all car parks in the town, making it easier for people to pay for longer stays. Details of the decision, which included a rigorous Equality Impact Assessment, can be found here: https://www.threerivers.gov.uk/meeting/extraordinary-policy-and-resources-committee-17-october-2017-at-7pm.
The Order was made on the 5 April 2018 and came into effect on the 16 April 2018. As with all new parking schemes there will be a 'grace period' for some weeks during which enforcement is not applied, before the new restrictions are enforced.
Some questions answered: