A JOINED-up and phased approach to introducing on-street parking charges and charges for residents’ parking permits in 2014/15 has been agreed today by Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet.

If full council approves the principle of charging for on-street parking at its budget meeting on February 13, survey and planning work will then get underway to firm up the detail of where charging will be introduced.

The county council’s original budget proposition Our Area, Our Future envisioned beginning charging on-street charging in busy high-streets and high-demand areas. Cabinet has agreed to set aside a one-off funding package of £300,000 to pay for a phased approach in 2014/15.

The precise locations of the paid-for parking will be confirmed once engineers have completed their surveying, scoping and planning work. The necessary legal and democratic process will be needed to implement new Traffic Regulation Orders which are introduced in consultation with residents and businesses.

The earliest date charging could be implemented would be later in autumn 2014 and cabinet has recommended that the introduction of a charge for residents parking permits should be coordinated with on-street parking charges.

When introduced, the charge for a resident’s parking permit in 2014/15 will not exceed £25.

Coun Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for highways, said: “This is a big step for Cumbria, so it’s important we get it right. By introducing on-street charging and residents permits in a phased, co-ordinated manner, it will allow us to fully understand where are the most effective locations, how it ties in with off-street parking and free parking areas, and what is the best technology to allow an affordable, practical and user-friendly solution.

“The key thing is that we recognise that, given the scale of the savings we must make, that on-street parking is the right long-term solution for a county like Cumbria. If done correctly it can mean smoother traffic flows, more availability of parking in the highest demand areas and benefits for businesses through an increase in available spaces.”