Councillors look at Car Parking in Swansea


The Panel met twice in the last two months to look at the provision of car parking services in Swansea.  The Panel were interested to hear about the systems thinking work that is being carried out across the service and especially the work in relation to enabling direct payments of Penalty Charge Notices. We were also pleased to hear that these Notices have been simplified for users.

The Panel were informed that the Parking Service is currently undertaking a period of reorganisation which should deliver a greater enforcement presence and more flexibility than before. Members were keen to see this improvement but did feel that the service would still benefit from more enforcement officers, but we did recognise that staff numbers were based on level of income. Councillors were informed that the Parking Enforcement Car will be in service shortly and that would help especially with targeted work.

There is a perception that there is not enough car parking in the city centren the panel did not agree believing as they were informed that the parking is adequate but not necessarily in the right place. The Panel recognise that there is very little that could be done to change that but did feel that a good signage strategy would help address this perception especially good signposting. The use of electronic message boards would also alleviate some of the issues especially at busy times by giving ‘current time messages’ to drivers showing when car parks might be full and identifying where spaces can be found.

The lower floors in the High Street car park were highlighted as an issue particularly in relation to the fear of crime. The Panel found that only the top two floors of the car park are used consistency due not only to the perceived safety issues but its less convenient location. Members felt that consideration should be given to looking for different uses for this space.

The Panel were pleased to hear that all car parks across Swansea have now been fitted with new ticketing machines which can collect and produce more management data and potentially enable more flexible pricing policies.

The Panel were informed of some of the reasons behind certain processes that are often misconceived by the public, for example, why we ask for the car registration numbers when you purchase car park tickets. That this was not done to stop ticket sharing but to be able to trace and contact purchaser if any problems arise with for example the payment machine. The Panel felt it was  important to communicate such things to the public more widely.

It was generally recognised that there are specific ‘hot spots’ where parking issues regularly arise, for example, at the liberty stadium on match days. We believe that many of these could be addressed by working with the local councillor/s to do targeted work in these areas.

The Panels recommendations to the cabinet member arising from this work included:

1. A signage strategy for car parks is developed.
2. A different use for the four lower floors of High Street multi storey car park is considered.
3. A more flexible pricing policy for car park charging is used now that we have the new more flexible ticketing machines.
4. There is more publicity around the reasoning for certain charges and processes.
5. Consideration given to more targeted work with local councillors around problem areas including for example around the Liberty Stadium on match days.

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