Sunday, 11 December 2011

Penzance parking....

I live very near to the middle of Penzance and parking is a great problem on my street and lot's of the residential streets nearby. Many people that shop or work in town, park in these streets rather than pay to park in Cornwall Council car parks. I don't really blame these people, parking is very expensive and as we all know there is a recession at the moment, people have less money due to stagnation of wages and rising costs or if they own a business a reduction in trades and profits. Still parking is a major issue here as I blogged a while ago about the Penzance Liberal Democrats campaign to get action for the town at Cornwall Council. See that post here.

For a number of reasons parking has been on my mind, firstly the problem seems to be getting worse and personally getting parked legally means hundreds of yards away from my house and unfortunately outside somebody else's house on another street. Secondly, the traffic wardens are doing great business in Penzance, yesterday afternoon (saturday) at about four in the afternoon the warden came around and ticketed 6 cars that I saw on this street and who knows how many more on other streets. The third thing that has made me think about it more, is the emptiness of some of the car parks in town. In the evening the two car parks at the top of Causewayhead are almost always empty, which implies that the pricing system is out of sync with demand. Also twice in the last fortnight I have been past the St Anthony long stay car park down near the Jubilee Pool. There's no doubt that this car park will be better used in the summer but this is the kind of car park that workers should be encouraged to use. Both for the benefit of Penzance's residents and for the fact that these resources need using not going to waste. Instead here's how the car park looked on the first of December just before midday:

Then the next day at about twenty past nine:
It is clear that the parking policy of Cornwall Council is failing, there are obviously not enough incentives for people to park in car parks, in other words the "carrot" is not enough. Also the "stick" as harsh as it may be (£35 for parking on a single yellow line) is not working it may be making money for the coffers in Truro but it's no good for Penzance, for residents, for businesses or indeed the image of the council. Besides which the council should look to getting people to park in car parks and raise revenue in a less shabby way.

So I got to thinking, what is being done about this? What have Penzance councillors been doing to solve this crisis in our town? How have they been keeping up their campaign that featured so heavily in local newspapers? Unfortunately for the people of Penzance, not a lot at all. Cornwall Council has a Parking Policy Advisory Panel that discusses parking policy (both enforcement and car parks) and informs the Council's cabinet on recommendations. This panel gives councillors opportunity to raise issues in their areas and influence parking policy. So this is the ideal forum for Penzance's councillors to stick up for Penzance and tell Cornwall Council what we need and want. So I was a little disappointed that checking the attendance statistics that none of Penzance's Lib Dem councillors (Mario Fonk, Ruth Lewarne and Tamsin Williams) have attended a single meeting of the panel since their public campaign see here.

Well done to them for getting leaflets printed, getting in the newspapers and highlighting the issue of Penzance's parking but any Tom, Dick or Harry could've done that, what Penzance needs from it's councillors   and what Tom, Dick and Harry can't do is go up to Truro and influence council policy and fight our corner. Honestly Penzance deserves better.


  1. I have recently moved to Penzance to what sounds like a street near you. It was like going back in time. I have lived in other small and large towns with parking problems, many of which were at least partly solved by introducing residents' and visitors' permits for most on-street parking on residential streets years ago. It's odd this has not been done here. Something like £30 per year covered the administration but increased residents' chances of finding a space on their street dramatically. Books of zoned parking tokens were also available so you could give visitors a daily parking token (these worked out to be about 30-40p a day). Alternatively long term permits for any of the town's carparks could be provided _inexpensively_ to both residents and workers--the current charges, apart from being on the steep side, are awkward to manage (why are so many of the town car parks short term only?) and unnecessarily complex. Otherwise if you count up the carpark spaces in town I think there are plenty enough to go around as you point out so graphically. It seems like a problem with several solutions for the council and locals alike.

  2. Thanks for the comment anon. I think the problem has developed over time, not that long ago there was only 1 traffic warden in Penzance as a result people would park on single yellow lines and even doubles without fear of a fine. Since then more wardens have been hired and now people do get fined when parking on yellow lines. That is to say there was enough space for everyone to park but now the traffic warden enforcement has effectively slashed the number of parking spaces.

    Personally I wouldn't mind paying for a residents permit, I'd also like to see the yellow lines all reviewed. It's ridiculous when there clearly is enough space to park either side and there is a shortage of space for parking.

  3. The Councillors are not going to look at the parking situation whilst they are dealing out over 200 FREE permits per year to themselves and council employees. The best you will see is parking meters popping up in the back streets to raise more revenue. Residential Permits are a great idea for those that can afford them.

  4. I see your point anon, but I do feel that if the people demand a better deal from parking that Cornwall Council will have to relent at some point.

  5. I recently acquired a ticket at Tolver rd Pezance for parking on a single yellow line outside the stated times, fair enough my bad, but strangely the two cars one in front of me and one behind that were there prior to my arrival and still there upon my return had no tickets on them? I have emailed the council 3 times asking for an explanation and as yet still no answer. This only goes to prove Cornall Councils new logo come catchphrase is so true " CORNWALL COUNCIL CORRUPTION GUARANTEED "

    1. That's really odd Karl, if you don't mind could you email me robscornishblog@gmail if you get any reply. Also ask to see the photos (traffic wardens have to photo your car when they issue a ticket) and see if the cars adjacent were also in the shot.