Nov 14 2015

Dave Listens on Leisure Centre Parking Charges

harrow_council_logoSpotted here earlier this week:

A substantive level of feedback has been received from paying customers have highlighted and requested changes to the existing method of charging with specific regard to:- 

i) The need to return to a Pay & Display (P&D) machine once the ‘first 3 hour free’ period has elapsed if a longer stay is required and, 

ii) Any ‘same-day’ returning short term visitors wishing to quickly drop-off & pick-off their passengers who are required to pay the pre-requisite full 80p/hour charge.

It is proposed to introduce a more flexible tariff to address these points thereby assisting the visiting public. To facilitate this change a ‘software’ alteration to the P&D machinery will allow the user to pay for their full anticipated stay in advance with the option to utilise a ‘pick up & drop off’ 20p/15 minutes tariff which is not the case at present.

It continues:

The first issue raised by car park users highlights that, at present, there is a physical need to return to a P&D machine once the ‘first 3 hour free’ period has elapsed if the user wishes to park for a longer period of time which causes unnecessary inconvenience to LC visitors.

This can be remedied by adapting the P&D machine software which allows the paying customer to purchase a ticket which reflects their anticipated stay in excess of the ‘first 3 hour free’ period thus improving ease of use by the customer. As the tariff charging structure remains unaltered there is no requirement to amend the existing car park traffic management order as this will remain legally correct.

The second issue raised relates to regular car park users who attend the LC and then return on the same day to undertake short term drop-off/pick up duties. As they have already parked within the car park on that day they are then subject to an initial 80p/hour charge even if their length of stay is limited to 10-15 minutes. As a result there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that return visitors are in fact avoiding payment by parking illegally on nearby waiting restrictions which we would clearly wish to discourage. 

It is therefore considered reasonable that a concession of sub-dividing the 80p/hourly charge by way of imposing a tariff variation of 20p per 15 minutes would help encourage payment as visitors are more likely to exhibit a tendency to pay a lesser sum rather than the higher one hour charge resulting in improved compliance to the surrounding waiting restrictions. 

Hence this applied mechanism has the potential to produce betterment to the revenue stream and allows for a greater flexibility for a significant amount of LC users which would hopefully pre-empt future escalation of complaints and accusations of unreasonableness on the council’s part.

You can read this one of two ways: either the council has figured out a way to extract more money from car park users – the “potential to produce betterment” above – or it’s genuinely decided to listen to car park users. For once, Dave & Co may just stand a chance of getting it right…

You can read the whole document here.



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1 comment

  1. Sophie

    It would help if the machines worked.

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