Renfrewshire Council

All you need to know - Paisley town centre parking pilot

Paisley town centre has so much to offer and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to visit and spend their money here

Through the Paisley Town Centre Working Group, local businesses have identified a period of three hours free parking as a way to encourage shoppers into the town centre and we're now running a pilot to assess whether this is viable.

From Monday 29 July to the end of January 2020, six car parks in the town centre will have three hours free parking after 10am and we'll then assess the impact this has had for local businesses and the council.

We've tried to answer as many questions as possible below, please get in touch if there's something we haven't covered.

  1. What is changing?
  2. Does this apply to all car parks?
  3. Why those car parks?
  4. How much does it cost to park now?
  5. Do I still need to get a ticket?
  6. Do I need to get a ticket if I'm not going to be longer than three hours?
  7. When do I pay for more than three hours?
  8. Could I just move from car park to car park after three hours?
  9. Why is it limited to three hours and why only after 10am - why can't we have free parking all day?
  10. Can I still park for free at weekends?
  11. So are Sundays free?
  12. What about on-street parking and why isn't it changing?
  13. Why are we introducing this?
  14. What's the implications for the council in introducing three hours parking for free?
  15. Is this a permanent change?
  16. How can I get more information?
  17. Where can I find out more about Paisley Town Centre?

Q. What is changing?

A. You can now park for free for the first three hours of your stay in six of the council-owned car parks in Paisley town centre. This applies after 10am Monday to Saturday and charges will apply after the three hours is complete, so make sure you know how long you're staying for and pay accordingly.

Q. Does this apply to all car parks?

A. No, just the six that are part of the pilot. These are: Orchard Street, Weighhouse Close, Hunter Street (upper and lower), Oakshaw and School Wynd - a total of 186 spaces and approximately 20% of the council's off-street parking spaces. The three hours free parking doesn't apply to any other council car parks or any of the private car parks in Paisley.

Q. Why those car parks?

A. The six car parks were chosen as they are the closest to shopping and business locations in the town centre.

Q. How much does it cost to park now?

A. Here's what the new three-hour free period means for the cost of parking.

In Orchard Street, Hunter Street (lower), School Wynd, Oakshaw Street, Weighhouse Close, it will be:
After 10am, it is free for 3 hours parking, 90p for 4 hours, £1.80 for 5 hours and £2.30 to park all day.
Before 10am, it is 90p for 1 hour, £1.80 for 2 hours, £2.30 for 3 hours, £4 for 5 hours and £5.50 all day.

In Hunter Street (upper), as it's a long stay car park, the charges will be:
After 10am, it is free for 3 hours parking, 90p for 4 hours, £1.80 for 5 hours and £2.30 to park all day.
Before 10am, it is 90p for 1 hour, £1.80 for 2 hours, £2.30 for 3 hours and £3.50 all day.

In all other council-owned car parks, the charges will be similar to the 'before 10am' prices above, but please consult the website for the actual figures here: Car parking charges.

Parking is free in the evening and on a Sunday in all council-owned car parks and on street spaces, unless otherwise signposted.

Q. Do I still need to get a ticket?

A. Yes. When you've parked head over to the machine, enter your registration and press the button for a ticket. Please display this visibly inside your car so that our parking wardens know you've done so.

Q. Do I need to get a ticket if I'm not going to be longer than three hours?

A. Yes. Everyone should collect a ticket from the parking machine regardless of how long they are going to be there. Don't leave yourself liable to receive a parking fine.

Q. When do I pay for more than three hours?

A. You should pay when you first park. The machine will guide you through the process but if you are staying for more than three hours, you'll need to pay for the additional time before you leave the car park. A full list of parking charges is available at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/carparking.

Q. Could I just move from car park to car park after three hours?

A. No, you should only receive three hours free parking at one car park per day so you will have to pay the additional charges for parking for longer than three hours. You are liable to receive a parking fine if you do not pay for the additional time.

Q. Why is it limited to three hours and why only after 10am - why can't we have free parking all day?

A: The aim of the pilot is to make it easier for people to visit Paisley town centre businesses. If we offered free parking all day every day, people who already work in Paisley or who commute from here to Glasgow or elsewhere via train would fill the free spaces early morning and take them up all day. Limiting free parking to three hours means people have plenty of time to visit businesses but discourages them from taking up a space all day. Having it start after 10am will also help keep the 'free' spaces available for those who are visiting local traders, rather than workers or commuters.

Q. Can I still park for free at weekends?

A. We are reintroducing some changes on Saturdays. Parking has been free all day on Saturdays for a few years now - but there is often very low availability of spaces, in part because people are parking here for free all day and getting the train to Glasgow. A partial reintroduction of charges aims to help create a turnover of spaces and make it easier for those who want to visit local traders.

Parking on a Saturday will mirror the Monday to Friday arrangements. There is free parking for three hours in the six car parks after 10am and parking charges now apply at all other council-owned car parks for the duration of the pilot.

The following car parks will remain free on a Saturday until 2 September when the charges come into force: St James Street, Lagoon, Lonend, Stow Street Paisley, Cross Street, Moncrieff Street, Saucel Crescent and Glen Lane.

The car park at Renfrewshire House will remain free at evenings and all day on Saturday and Sunday.

On-street parking spaces will remain free on a Saturday, only the off-street car parks will now have parking charges.

Q. So are Sundays free?

A. Yes, you can still park in any council-owned parking space in Paisley for free on a Sunday, except where restrictions are made clear.

Q. What about on-street parking and why isn't it changing?

A. There's no change to the current arrangements for on-street parking - charges apply Mon-Fri during the day and on-street parking is free at evenings and all day on weekends. Please follow the instructions at parking meters and on signage as normal.

Changing the rules around on-street parking involves a legal process which could take up to a year - so we are limiting the pilot to car parks only as they are much easier to change for a short-term pilot.

Q. Why are we introducing this?

A. We appreciate recent years have been challenging for town centre traders everywhere - not just in Paisley. The rise of internet shopping and out-of-town retail has changed traditional town centre forever. We've been working closely with local businesses to identify how we can best support them and how we can provide a boost to the Paisley town centre economy. So, the 'Paisley Town Centre Car Parking Working Group' was created and consists of elected members from the three largest political groups, officers from the council, representatives from local businesses, public transport operators and local private car park operators.

These partners looked at several different ways in which the town centre economy could be enhanced by changes to parking. A historic town centre built over centuries like Paisley will never be able to offer the same ease of road access and parking as out-of-town centres built around the car. But it was thought that an element of free parking would make it easier for people to get to town centre traders. This pilot will evaluate whether this is the case.

We are happy to explore options brought forward by our partners and the local community. We will assess the results of the pilot once it is completed and, in conjunction with the working group, look at the next steps required.

Q. What's the implications for the council in introducing three hours parking for free?

A. The council does receive a significant income from these six car parks, with an estimated £278,000 brought in annually from parking charges and fines which is about 27% of our total parking income. The introduction of charges on a Saturday is expected to bring in around £70,000, which still leaves a shortfall of around £208,000.

This would therefore have to be made up from existing resources earmarked to support regeneration and development activities in the town centre and any subsequent decision made at the end of the pilot would have to take into account the need to find this additional funding from the council's overall budget.

In total, Paisley town centre parking charges are worth around £1million a year to the council. That money is reinvested into the services we provide for the people of Renfrewshire, and any loss of parking income means money will need to be found from elsewhere to balance that.

Q. Is this a permanent change?

A. No, this is a six-month pilot which will run until the end of January 2020. At the conclusion, we will work with our partners and the working group to identify the results of the pilot and whether it has been a success. We will measure the differences in footfall, visitor numbers, retail and business spend and a variety of other methods to evaluate the pilot and then, in conjunction with the working group, outline the next steps.

Q. How can I get more information?

A. You can contact the team via Parking.

Q. Where can I find out more about Paisley Town Centre?

There's lots of questions that people ask us, such as why don't we lower the rates on the high street shops to get businesses in? Unfortunately, it isn't as easy as it sounds and we've tried to answer these kind of questions here - Paisley Town Centre Q&A.

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