Changes to the kind of vehicle people use, the journeys they make, a potentially rising population and the local response to the climate emergency are all considerations as Wirral Council looks to finalise and implement a new parking strategy.
An effective parking strategy for the future is not just about car parks or spaces for car parking, it is about having the right spaces, for the right form of transport in the right places to manage traffic in a way that supports the local economy, residents, businesses and the environment.
A public consultation is now underway in Wirral where residents are being asked to consider how the way people travel has changed and is set to change over the short, medium and longer terms and how they think both parking policies and infrastructure should also be adapted to meet these changing demands.
The survey asks residents to consider aspects such as parking charges and the levels they are set at, more residential parking zones, cycle and motorcycle parking, electric vehicle charging, potentially enforcing nuisance parking by the introduction of Public Space Protection Orders and the possibility of developing smart mobility hubs in key locations in the borough.
In support of this consultation, the council commissioned an independent report that looks at the current situation, the situation pre-Covid and emerging developments locally and nationally to present a wide range of ideas and potential improvements that can be considered as part of the new parking strategy.
The consultation also builds upon an earlier round of public engagement which provided a baseline of people’s opinions on car parking in the borough.
The findings of this survey and the independent report can both be found on the consultation page – haveyoursay.wirral.gov.uk – as well as the latest survey.
The results of this consultation will be reported to the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee in December 2023.
Cllr Paul Stuart, Leader of Wirral Council said, “The parking strategy should support the council’s objective of increasing the use of more sustainable modes of transport. We see this happening with increased demand for secure bicycle parking, public Electric Vehicle charging spaces, and other changes people make in their daily lives.
“But we also must recognise that there is no alternative to the car for some people, so the strategy must have regard for all road users and be financially sustainable for the council.
“It is not about socially engineering people out of their cars. We are looking for a comprehensive parking strategy in the context of the climate emergency, but also within our local plans for new housing developments, sustainable economic growth and comprehensive regeneration plans for the borough.
“We must bring our residents and businesses along with us, get them involved and encourage them to participate in consultations like this, especially when proposals may result in significant changes. I encourage everyone to participate in the consultation to ensure you have your say.”