Newmarket parking provision update
This note includes public parking provision in Newmarket town centre by Suffolk County Council and Forest Heath District Council only. It does not cover spaces provided by businesses and organisations for their staff and customers.
Forest Heath District Council has made economic growth a priority and the ParkMark standard off-street car parks it provides are used by shoppers, visitors and workers who bring vitality to the town centre. They are pay and display car parks, both long and short stay, with moderate tariffs set to manage demand, and free after 4pm. Payment options include cash, contactless and mobile phone, and season tickets payment. Revenue is used to cover the cost of providing, maintaining and staffing the car parks, which, being subject to business rates, pay the BID levy. They range from the multi-storey Guineas car park to neighbourhood pocket car parks. Enforcement is by council car park attendants who act as ambassadors, giving advice and guidance to customers. The effectiveness of their approach is reflected in the level of parking tickets issued, amounting to 0.01% of car parking events, showing compliance by 99.9% of users. More detail at end.
Suffolk County Council (SCC) deals with on-street car parking, including parking restrictions and resident parking zones (RPZs).
Powers for enforcing on street parking restrictions in Suffolk lie with the Police. Suffolk is one of very few counties remaining that has not de-criminalised car parking, although an application is currently with the Secretary of State to change to Civil Parking Enforcement.
As the Highways Authority, SCC takes a strategic overview of the county’s roadnetwork, and day-to-day uses funding and the powers vested in it to maintain and designate road use.
SCC has begun liaison with relevant stakeholders about what they think needs to be achieved from a county wide parking management strategy. This strategy is intended to set out, at a high level, how parking should be managed across the county. One proposal is for area parking strategies and if adopted, Newmarket would be a test area. Feedback will be incorporated into a DRAFT Newmarket Parking Strategy that will be consulted on with stakeholders.
There are ‘No Waiting’ parking restrictions in the heart of the town centre. There are limited areas close to the town centre (eg parts of The Avenue) and on the outskirts of the town where there are no parking restrictions other than for safety reasons around junctions.
On-street parking enforcement
Public compliance with on-street restrictions is poor, and lack of enforcement by police, whose resources do not stretch to all the demands on their time, is seen
as encouraging this bad behaviour. In the short term, only the police have the powers to penalise. The Constabulary and all Suffolk local authorities together have applied to the Secretary of State for Civil Parking Enforcement, to transfer enforcement power to local councils. Currently revenue from fines goes to the Treasury, but under CPE fines would be retained locally to pay for enforcement.
The partners are ready to adopt the scheme from April 2019, but have been warned this may not be achievable due to pressure on Parliamentary time needed to progress the necessary orders. Representations continue to be made to achieve the April 2019 start.
Resident parking zones
There are currently no resident parking zones (RPZs) in Newmarket. It is anticipated that the SCC pilot parking strategy will identify whether there is a demand for resident parking areas.
The process for setting up a scheme is initiated by Suffolk County Council as the Highways Authority. It consults stakeholders and residents to confirm a need, and then on a draft design. It then legally adopts the final, agreed design and gets signage put up, before passing over the completed scheme to Forest Heath District Council to administer (issue permits etc) and enforce. Revenue is used to cover these costs.
Off street parking capacity is continuously monitored and held under review in regard to impact of future developments.
Natural growth – Parking events in 2017 were up 3.5% overall on 2016 with short stay up 3.7% and long stay up 2.6%. Some car parks saw small decreases but Rous Road was up 12.7%, helped by proximity to Home of Horseracing. Peak demand is currently at 11am on a race day Saturday when Market Square is unavailable. At this time 145 spaces are available, rising to 200 shortly after noon and overall 85% capacity is taken.
CPE – Modelling suggests that 90 vehicles would be displaced by CPE, and mainly on weekdays when there is more capacity.
Newmarket Market move to the High Street – the pilot move from September 2018 would release 60 spaces on Market Square on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Off street car parks are accessed from secondary roads that are difficult to navigate without clear signage. SCC as Highways Authority looks after on street signage. Currently one sign by the Memorial Hall has been highlighted as missing.
FHDC Priority work streams for the next 12 months include:
-Further sampling and modelling of car park capacity
-Preparation for the implementation of CPE including consolidation of the Car Parking Order, procurement of resources and recruitment of additional employees, and the development of a communications plan.
-As a pilot for the County and working with SCC, the development of Newmarket Parking Plan that will consider on and off street parking across the town, with a view to identifying further capacity and reviewing parking restrictions.
-Review of current car park charges in order to effectively manage potential demands as a result of implementation of CPE
A review of parking provision at Newmarket Leisure Centre.
Background information – Forest Heath
• Car park provision – https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/parking/car_parks/newmarket-car-parks.cfm
• Annual review of car parking – https://democracy.westsuffolk.gov.uk/documents/s27319/OAS.FH.18.011 %20-%20Car%20Parking%20Update.pdf
|All Saints 132 spaces Grosvenor Yard 76 spaces
Guineas levels 4+5 200 spaces
St Mary’s 40 spaces
2017 long stay parking events up 2.6% on 2.16.
Free after 4pm every day Up to 2 hours 60p
All day (9am to 4pm) £2.50
Guineas level 1 +2 200 spaces
Market Square 58 spaces Rous Road 197 spaces
2017 Short stay parking events up 3.7% on 2016. Rous Road was up 12.7%, helped by proximity to Home of Horseracing.
Free after 4pm every day Up to 2 hours 60p
Monday to Saturday 9am to 4pm
Pocket Car Parks x 6
All Saints 15 of 16 spaces let Queen Street 13 of 13 spaces let
14 of 15 spaces let
FHDC owns six pocket car parks in Newmarket providing 63 spaces which are available for lease to local residents. The cost was reduced in 2016 and usage has increased.