Demand for parking fee figures

Date: Friday 24th February 2017

KESWICK councillors are demanding to know how much money is collected from Allerdale-owned car parks in the town.

Town and borough councillor Tony Lywood said: “I think, as a matter of public record, the people of Keswick should know the total amount of money that is collected from Allerdale car parks in our town. It’s important that we know the size of the receipt of revenue which Allerdale gets from the town.”

Mr. Lywood asked for this information in October, but, as yet, has not yet received any information.

At a meeting of the town council, Andrew Lysser supported the move. He said: “We received information on receipts about five or six years ago — at that time it was around £800,000 from Keswick car parks — excluding parking fines. But it is important we also ask what proportion of the income from Keswick is to what Allerdale receives from parking throughout the borough.

“These figures may give more credence for Allerdale to spread the love.”

Mayor David Burn asked Mr. Lywood whether the town council should make a freedom of information request for the information, but Mr. Lywood said there may not be a need for this and just to request the information in a letter.

In a report to the town council, Mr. Lywood stated that the review of car parking in the Allerdale-owned car parks was rumbling on. He said there were a number of separate issues affecting the Lakeside car park and theatre, night parking, the duration of stay in Bell Close, the possibility of a free initial period and, most importantly, the cost of quarterly and yearly permits for businesses and individuals. He added: “I ask Allerdale to give us back our town permits at a reasonable cost.”

Town clerk Lynda Walker reported that she had written to the borough authority about the possibility of changing the charging times in car parks to bring the “evening” time forward to 6pm.

She said Allerdale indicated that new pay and display machines had been installed, allowing for payment to be made across the adjoining tariff. This would mean that payment could be made at a first visit without the need for return at 7pm.

In a letter, Allerdale parking manager Mike Rollo told councillors there were no current plans to amend the normal daytime charges on any of the authority’s car parks. However, new pay and display equipment had been installed on the Lakeside park and similar machines are to be installed across the rest of its parking estate in Keswick in the near future.

Mr. Rollo said: “We are constantly looking at enhancing the services we provide to our customers and the new machine and alternative payment methods is an example of this.”

Mr. Lywood said this reply was typical of all correspondence on parking issues. He said: “They just don’t answer the question you have asked. It is an absolute joke.”