Dear BID Member

Re: FORMAL RESPONSE TO CHESHIRE WEST AND CHESTER COUNCIL PARKING STRATEGY CONSULTATION ON BEHALF OF CH1CHESTERBID DIRECTORS/MEMBERS.

I am writing to you in relation to Cheshire West and Chester Council’s ongoing Parking Strategy Consultation.  The Consultation runs for 12 weeks and ends on 24th February 2017 with the findings directing the councils future parking strategy.  I would urge all businesses to complete the consultation which can be found here 

In the months since the consultation was launched CH1ChesterBID has been engaging with businesses and the public to gauge their views and opinions.   While most agree that there is a requirement to review parking in the city the consultation does ask about the introduction of a new ‘shop and dine’ parking offer between 3pm to 7pm which would essentially replace the existing ‘FREE after 3’ parking offer.

The removal of ‘FREE after 3’ has been the biggest cause for concern amongst businesses we have spoken with and feedback from the public also suggests its removal could influence their decision to visit Chester.  To ensure the views of BID Members are heard I will be writing to Cheshire West and Chester Council informing them of the strength of feeling amongst local businesses about their proposals.

Please read the full version of the proposed letter here before it is presented to the council. 

The key points highlighted in the letter include:

  • Introduction – Welcoming a review of parking in Chester and the expectation that views will be taken into consideration in line with the Governments consultation principles.
  • Background – What is CH1ChesterBID and who does it represent.
  • City centre high street facing strong competition – Highlighting the challenges faced by high streets and city centres, how increased footfall is not always reflected in sales and the need to entice back the local shopper, how high streets need a healthy balance of large and small independent retailers supported by a business-friendly parking policy.
  • Our Parking Strategy consultation approach – Information about data collected by the BID and how we have reached our conclusions on parking in Chester.
  • Consultation feedback – An overview – Outlining the BIDs commitments to parking in Chester, feedback on the consultation and welcoming any practical solution that would benefit businesses or consumers, raising concerns about parking initiatives which would replace the existing ‘FREE after 3’ initiative.
  • Strength of feeling for “FREE after 3” – Outlining the case for keeping free after 3 and countering arguments for its removal.
  • In conclusion – Highlighting the need for the views of businesses to be taken into consideration in shaping the future parking strategy.

Should you have any feedback regarding the parking consultation please get in touch before 17th February. If we do not hear from you by this date we will assume that you are happy for us to send the letter on your behalf. Please contact me via email or telephone 01244 403680.

Yours sincerely

Carl Critchlow, CH1ChesterBID Manager

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