Shropshire Star

Short stay parking changes take a step closer in Newport

Major changes to short stay parking in Newport have taken a step closer and the public are being given chance to have their say.

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Stafford Street car park

Councillor Eric Carter, who represents the town on Telford & Wrekin Council, said this was the first step towards improving parking problems in the town.

Newport Town Council's parking strategy group has discussed a number of solutions to the long-standing issue, including walking buses for schools and potential ideas for new places to park.

But the first big change will be coming later this summer, with the installation of ticket machines on Stafford Street car park.

The free tickets will apply to only one section of the car park, and those who overrun their time risk fines.

It is hoped it will be the first step in providing better parking in the town.

"We're very fortunate in Newport to have free parking and that's something we're insisting will always be the case," Councillor Carter said.

"People don't understand but in the conservation area in Newport, we can't build multi-storey car parks.

"Free parking with tickets was a really radical change for Wellington. When you used to go on market day, you couldn't find anywhere to park. People would park, get the train and go all over the country.

"In Newport we don't have a railway station but we do have a very good bus service. People have been catching the bus to Stafford or Telford, and leaving very few parking spaces available for other people."

Things should improve even further when Telford & Wrekin Council take over parking powers.

The council applied for civil parking enforcement earlier this year and, if granted by Government, will allow poor parking or bad driving to be punished by the council, rather than by police.

Councillor Carter said: "I can't wait for that to happen.

"Then people can safely get access to their properties, especially at school times. We've even had times when emergency services have been unable to get past parked cars."

A spokesman for Telford & Wrekin Council said: "This proposal has been developed in partnership with Newport Town Council with the aim of being able to better manage the car park and encourage a turnover of vehicles allowing visitors to Newport to find a space."

Anybody wishing to object to the plans can write to Network Management, Transport and Highways Development, Telford & Wrekin Council, TF3 4JA.

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