Thursday, 3 December 2009


A trial scheme of parking charges in five high street areas of Thanet is to be continued until March 2010.

The scheme, known as linear charging, was introduced in mid July 2009, after research was carried out by the Broadstairs and St Peter's Chamber of Commerce into a number of different parking schemes used across the UK.

The scheme means drivers have to pay a minimum charge of 20p for parking and then 1.5p per minute thereafter up to a two hour maximum. Previously, the minimum charge was 50p and then there was a sliding scale of set charges, depending how long people were parking for.

The decision was taken by Cabinet last night (Wednesday 2 December), after they heard that the initial results seemed to show a different pattern of parking than had originally been expected. The figures, from August to October, suggest that there were more stays of over an hour, but fewer shorter stays. Originally, it had been thought that the pricing structure would lead to additional shorter visits.

After allowing for the impact of the recession, the figures also indicate that income levels have remained similar between the same periods in 2008 and 2009.

Street Scene Manager Bob Spicer said: "This scheme was originally introduced to try and help local businesses, following an approach by the Broadstairs and St. Peter's Chamber of Commerce. As such, we wanted to help encourage short stay visits to Thanet's towns and villages and bring money into local shops and businesses. The results so far indicate that people may actually be staying for longer, which wasn't the pattern of parking that we expected. That's why we're going to continue with this scheme for another few months to see whether the results change between now and then."

The linear charging scheme was introduced in Cavendish Street in Ramsgate, Northdown Road in Cliftonville, in the High Street and Marine Drive in Margate, Station Road in Birchington and in the High Street, Belvedere Road and Charlotte Street in Broadstairs. Following the decision, the scheme will now remain in place until March 2010.

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