An independent review of Warwick District Council’s displacement parking plan associated with the closure of Leamington’s Covent Garden Car Park for redevelopment has reported its findings.
The high-level review was conducted by a specialist parking consultancy jointly appointed by Warwick District Council (WDC) and BID Leamington, ahead of the planned closure of Covent Garden in January 2019 for an estimated 18 months.
The review set out to agree the requirements of a displacement plan and advise on whether WDC’s displacement parking plan will be effective in accommodating users of Covent Garden during the closure, and to recommend any additional measures.
The report acknowledges that local businesses and residents have raised concerns about the impact that closing Covent Garden will have on the town centre in terms of shoppers, visitors, workers and residents.
It states that the key issue for the displacement plan is to mitigate the loss of the 468 spaces.
It says there is insufficient existing capacity in the town centre to accommodate the displaced parking from Covent Garden, which demonstrates the “critical importance” of implementing the plan.
Its analysis indicated that overall, the total lost number of spaces could be replaced by new and existing availability, however due to the location of new spaces and an imbalance in weekday / weekend provision, there was a shortfall in both weekday long stay parking, which could impact local staff, and short stay parking for visitors on Saturday.
Whilst some ideas were endorsed, it also highlighted a number of issues related to the location of new spaces, which has resulted in a total of 29 recommendations for WDC to consider when refining its plan.
The recommendations have been made to create additional parking as well as measures such as signage, communications, marketing, events and partnership working. Further measures are also suggested, when demand is higher than average, such as events, and Christmas trading times, as well as ongoing monitoring.
We are now considering the recommendations and going forward this will involve, where necessary, consulting Warwickshire County Council for on-street parking, Councillors and other stakeholders. Where planning permission is needed, further assessment will be undertaken and it is noted some changes to on-street parking orders must go through a formal consultation process.
There is a lot of work going on in different areas and in order to improve communications with the business community, we have created Covent Garden Development page where updates and information will be posted.
Businesses can also register for email updates, feedback and ask questions via the comments form or email: firstname.lastname@example.org