Agenda item

Parking Proposals and Opportunities


Councillor Keith Henson (Cabinet Member for Highways and Environmental Services and Carbon Management) explained that the purpose of the report was to provide information relating to the two recommendations made to Cabinet on 5 September 2023 as noted below:


Recommendation 1: That Cabinet consider undertaking a review of charging for parking along the Promenade in Aberystwyth.


Recommendation 2: That Cabinet consider offering 2 hours of free parking between 8am and 10am on Monday to Friday in one car park in Lampeter, Aberaeron and Cardigan.


Rhodri Llwyd, Corporate Lead Officer, Highways and Environmental Services provided a presentation to the Committee on Aberystwyth Promenade parking. The following was outlined: 

·       Process

·       Considerations

·       Stakeholder feedback


Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions which were answered by Officers present. The main points raised were as follows:

·       Concerns were raised by the Elected Members of wards in Aberystwyth of the financial impact that charging along the Promenade may have on businesses including B&Bs and residents including the elderly and disabled who had no off-street parking. Clarification was given that Blue Badge holders in vehicles granted a tax-exemption, specifically by virtue of a disability, displaying their blue badge may park for free in Ceredigion's Pay and Display car parks however, all other Blue Badge holders were required to pay. Arrangements for Blue Badge holders where on-street charging was introduced would be in keeping with legislation and policy.

·       If a decision was made to charge for parking along the Promenade, Members felt that resident parking would be key. A review of resident parking charges across Wales was suggested to ensure the charges were fair. It was noted that a resident parking permit would not warrant a guaranteed parking space as on-street parking was provided on the public highway.

·       It was raised that many who parked along the Promenade during the day were people who travelled to the town from outside to work. As it stood, residents who lived on the Promenade had to go and search for spaces to park in nearby streets if there were no spaces available; there were concerns that charging for parking would reduce the number of free spaces nearby as people would try and search for these spaces. In addition, given the climate change agenda, charging along with the Promenade may encourage more to travel into town by public transport.

·       Members suggested that there was a need to review parking in Aberystwyth in its entirety as the availability and adequacy of parking had decreased over the years with new developments.

·       Members expressed that it would be vital that any additional costs to the service (e.g. installing payment machines/ signs) should be recovered through the income generated. It was noted that signs to allow people to pay online were widely used in other locations and would be better economically. If only a section of the Promenade would be allocated to parking charges, there would be less expense, but also less income.

·       At present, there were difficulties parking on the Promenade given the lack of spaces but if parking charges were presented, Members believed there would be a greater turnover.

·       Concerns were raised about the number of motorcyclists on the seafront and the danger they pose to the public; it was noted that this was a matter for Dyfed-Powys Police. 

·       Most members agreed that there was a need for the local authority to look at how to generate income from car parking given the challenges to the budget. Many members felt that charging for parking on the Promenade in Aberystwyth was an opportunity not to be missed. 

·       It was noted that there had not been a park-and-ride facility in Aberystwyth for a few years. There were many car parks available within close proximity along with regular bus and train services.

·       Consideration of the Active Travel agenda, SPF funding, the sea defence scheme and other strategies should be given, to ensure any changes to parking at the Promenade were done logically.


Gerwyn Jones, Corporate Manager, Environmental Services provided an overview of the financial impact of the Offer of 2 hours of free parking between 8am and 10am on Monday to Friday in one car park in Lampeter, Aberaeron and Cardigan to the Committee.


Members were provided with the opportunity to ask questions which were answered by Officers present. The main points raised were as follows:

·       Members noted that the recommendation had been to consider one car park in Lampeter, Aberaeron and Cardigan; it was clarified that an overview of car parks was provided for context and to enable Members to compare data. There was a concern that if one car park was free for 2 hours, other car parks in the same town would be impacted, and subsequently, the income target and the service as a whole. 

·       Concerns were raised that providing free parking before 10am would not be beneficial for the elderly and given the cost-of-living crisis, the impact any increase in parking charges would have on households.

·       The importance of equity across the county was raised. Although services had been withdrawn from areas such as Llandysul, there was an expectation for all residents of Ceredigion to subsidise the services that remained across the county.

·       It was noted that a more holistic approach was required generally, and the Cabinet should consider the economic development of towns and gain the views of businesses before any decisions were made. In addition, the rural population who accessed services locally but had no access to public transport should be considered.


Members considered different scenarios for the Promenade, such as charging all year round or seasonally. In addition, for equity, members considered whether to propose 2 hours of free parking before 10am at all Ceredigion County Council Pay and display car parks. The Section 151 Officer (Duncan Hall, Corporate Lead Officer: Finance and Procurement) then advised the Committee that they did not have the right financial data in front of them to give their proposal proper consideration as the report only showed the estimated financial impact in relation to the car parks in Aberaeron, Lampeter and Cardigan. It was noted that car parking charges at Tregaron and Llandysul would be considered during the budget-setting process.


Following questions by the Committee Members, it was agreed to note the content of the report and recommend that Cabinet undertake a review of charging for parking along the Promenade in Aberystwyth throughout the year and to introduce free parking before 10am in all Ceredigion County Council Pay and Display car parks. Cabinet would be required to review the financial implication of adding Aberystwyth to this proposition as the Committee would not want the changes to have a negative financial impact for the Authority. 

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