It’s been revealed that Dorset Council is considering introducing on-street parking permits for residents across the area including Swanage, as part of its proposed changes to parking charges.
This is to address the concern that increased parking fees on popular roads like those along a seafront, could drive visitors to park in residential roads instead.
The plans to streamline fees for on-street parking and Dorset Council owned car parks were discussed at the Dorset Council place and resources overview committee on Tuesday 19th October 2021.
It’s proposed that the cost of on-street parking in Shore Road will go up
A single policy on parking charges
The move to create a single policy on parking charges across the Dorset Council area will, say Dorset Council, ensure equality for residents, as currently in some areas it’s free to park all day but others have to pay £9.
In Swanage, this policy only affects on-street parking in Station Road and Shore Road as the car parks in Swanage are owned by Swanage Town Council and the charges are set separately.
On Shore Road along Swanage’s seafront, it could see drivers paying £12 for up to 10 hours all year round, although there’s a possibility that parking may be limited to short stay only.
Prime seafront parking in Shore Road in Swanage may rise to £12 for up to 10 hours throughout the year
Phase three to look at residents’ parking
During the debate, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, councillor Ray Bryan said that this was phase two of the parking charges transformation project, but there was a phase three planned, which would look at parking for residents.
He also said that the next stage would include introducing a single policy on the use of Blue Badge parking permits:
“We’re already working on phase three, which will include stopping any potential for abuse of the very important blue badge parking permit and ensuring that residents, where possible, can park on the road, close to their homes, rather than visitors taking up those spaces.”
There’s a concern that residents living on roads near to the seafront like De Moulham Road, where it’s free to park for everyone, won’t be able to find a space if parking charges increase on Shore Road
Overnight parking for motorhomes and lorries
Councillor Ray Bryan went on to say that phase three would also look at the provision of overnight parking for motorhomes and lorries, as well as improving facilities at car parks like better lighting, as well as some that could generate income. Although there was no suggestion this would be in Swanage.
He also suggested that multi-storey car parks could be built in the future on some current Dorset Council car parks, releasing part of the site for other land uses.
The phase two proposals of the parking charges transformation project will now be discussed at Dorset Council’s next cabinet meeting at 10 am on Monday 8th November 2021, which can be watched online.
A link will be added to the agenda, a week before the meeting.
Gilbert Road in Swanage is another street where residents already compete with visitors and workers to get a space