February 4, 2016
Parking overhaul could see Tuckers Garage site turned into a car park

Turning Burnham-On-Sea's Tuckers Garage site into a car park and introducing new parking charges at Highbridge's Apex Park are among the options that look set to be considered by Sedgemoor District Council as it seeks to raise extra cash from motorists.

The District Council said this week it needs to raise an extra £90,000 of revenue per year from parking charges across the district after cuts to its funding from central government.

Introducing new parking charges at Apex Park in Highbridge is also one of the options being considered - and a one-off charge of £2 for the 100 spaces could generate £30,000 per year.

Other suggestions include an across-the-board hike in all car park charges of ten per cent, which would yield £87,000 of extra income.

Standardising the daily parking charges across the district at £5 per day is a further option, which would generate an extra £50,000 per year. The council is also considering raising the cost of blue badge and motorcycle parking.

Burnham's Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton told a meeting of the council this week: "Introducing a 10% across the board raise would solve the problem and has the least impact to residents across the town, but I wouldn't want to see new charges at Apex Park."

Cllr Louise Parkin, right, added: "The 10% makes sense to me as well - I wouldn't want to see Highbridge's charges treated in parallel to Burnham's Pier Street car park."

"At the recent Chamber meeting with traders, there was voiced a request for one hour's free parking in the Pier Street Car Park to enable quick shoppers to use the town's shops and facilities - I am very much in favour of that."

"Is there any possibility that someone could look at the old Tuckers Garage site and explore using that as a car park until it is developed. SDC could lease it from the present owners until such time as they decide to develop it or even talk to the developers about turning it into a car park."

"I think it could be a valuable asset as it could be many years until it is used and it is just sitting there doing nothing."

Cllr Phil Harvey added that he would support a 10% increase and would not "want to see standardised charges in Burnham and Highbridge."

Cllr Paul Young said he is "slightly perturbed about any new charges for Apex Park - £2 would be as big flat fee" and may hit attendance events such as the weekly Park Runs. "This would be a step in the wrong direction," he said.

Sedgemoor District Council's Executive will be discussing the proposals in more detail at its meeting on February 17th.

Sedgemoor spokeswoman Claire Faun told "The report, which will be going to the Executive on 17th February, outlines the current position regarding income from car parking and sets out a range of options for generating further revenue, to make up for the further reductions in Revenue Support Grant from central Government."

"Of course, SDC understands that there needs to be a balance between our charging strategy and the need to generate revenue to pay for core services, whilst not discouraging economic prosperity and growth in the district."

"Affected town and parish councils have had the opportunity to discuss the proposed changes, so that their feedback can be reported to the Executive during the debate on 17th February."


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