ePetition details

Pay On Exit Parking in Tunbridge Wells with First 30-Minutes Free & Free Parking Sundays & Bank Hols

We the undersigned petition Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to change the current Pay & Display payment system for the town centre car parks to a much fairer Pay On Exit system that does not penalise users – similar to the one at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, Pembury. The Pay On Exit system would offer 30 minutes' free parking, followed by half-hourly and hourly charges at reasonable rates. This will allow drivers to stay as long as they like without fear of being issued with a parking ticket. The accompanying Pay On Exit machines would accept cards as well as cash. They would be situated at the entrance(s) to the car parks and would allow drivers at least 20 minutes after payment to depart through the exit barriers. Further, we petition TWBC to resurrect free parking on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Both these initiatives will encourage more residents, visitors and tourists into Tunbridge Wells town centre. This would have the double benefit of boosting the local economy and making residents, workers and visitors' lives much better.

The current, dated, Pay & Display system puts people off coming into town, and makes it difficult to use the car parks when they do. for the following reasons:

A) The stress of always having to have the correct change to pay at the machine, or go through the time-consuming process of having to phone to pay your car park charge. Often people are in a hurry and simply don't have time.

Plus people have to register for this service, which can then incur additional "convenience charge" costs, such as 20p to top up their time. All this adds to the stress.

B) Drivers have to decide up front how long they wish to stay, but after paying they may need or wish to stay longer for a number of reasons:

They may need longer for shopping or sightseeing or socialising or, if they have an appointment, that could take longer than anticipated.

It is particularly unfair that anyone should be penalised with a parking ticket for the latter.

C) Pay & Display machines do not give change, which is blatantly unfair. It is immoral to take money for services not provided simply because people do not have the correct coins.

D) Visiting town is not a pleasant experience when people have to rush through their shopping, errands or appointments in fear of getting an expensive parking ticket.

A Pay On Exit system would encourage shoppers, tourists and other town visitors to stay longer without fear of getting a parking ticket.

Offering the first 30 minutes free is another incentive to attract people into the town centre. They may need to just pop to one shop, or collect something – such as a prescription – or perform another short task.

And no doubt once they are in town, many may decide to stay on a bit longer after all, and then pay the subsequent charge.

With this system, everyone will have a far greater freedom of choice over the time they spend in town.

Indeed, it will encourage visitors to stay instead of driving them out.

On reaching 1000 signatures A Full Council debate will be held

This ePetition ran from 28/01/2013 to 20/03/2013 and has now finished.

740 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

This petition has also been submitted in paper form, and the combined total has reached over 1,000 signatures, therefore triggering a Full Council debate.

The debate on this issue will take place on Wednesday 24 April 2013, at 6.30pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Tunbridge Wells.


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