We recently held a consultation asking for your views on plans to charge £1 to park in our country parks and to introduce charges for blue badge holders in all our council car parks.
“Who did we consult with?”
We sent to all our usual statutory bodies such as BT, Ambulance Service, Coach Association and Private Hire Association. We didn’t receive any responses from these bodies.
We also sent to specific disability charities such as disability Wales, Mencap, Mind, Diverse Cymru and locally to AVOW. We didn’t receive any responses from these bodies.
The consultation was also open to the general public at large and we placed site notices at each town centre car park, Tŷ Pawb, Ruabon Station, Wrexham Technology Park and the country park locations affected by the proposals. There was also a notice placed in the Leader newspaper and 1 March with an email address added for responses to be sent.
A total of 116 individuals replied to the consultatons.
We can break these down into the following
21 showed support for both proposals
21 objected to introducing disabled charges
53 objected to introducing country parks car park charges
21 objected to both proposals.
Concerns that were raised during the consultation are varied and range from not being affordable for disabled people to the impact it will have on the numbers visiting our country parks. The accessibility of machines was also mentioned as was people no longer visiting the town centre.
In response it is noted that the blue badge scheme is not financially means tested and and we shouldn’t assume that blue badge holders are unable to pay for parking. Visitors to both the town centre and country parks will be monitored and the machines will be fully compliant with the Equality Act 2010.
We will now introduce car parking charges at the country parks as proposed with the exception of charging disabled blue badge holders as there is no alternative parking for blue badge holders at these locations. The proposed charges for disabled blue badge holders in all council operated car parks will be introduced with no amendments.
Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for the Environment and Transport, said: “Introducing charges where previously a facility was free was always going to create disappointment amongst members of the public. We have however, kept the charges to a minimum at the country parks and I am pleased that blue badge holders will not have to pay to park when visiting them. We will be monitoring the visitor numbers to assess the impact of the charges.”
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