What is happening?
On 1st February 2022 a new charging regime will be in place at Trelawny Road car park, St Agnes. The car park will still remain free for the majority of the time, and during peak times parking spaces can still be used for free for 90 minutes at a time.

FREE: 6pm – 7am Every day
FREE: All day Sunday

The following applies 7am-6pm Monday-Saturday:
Up to 1.5 hours – FREE
Up to 2 hours – £1.00
Up to 3 hours – £3.00
All day – £5.00

Why is this happening?
Over the course of many years the community have highlighted that the lack of available parking spaces in the car park is a major issue.  The turnover rate of vehicles is too low during peak times meaning the car park has been largely useless for those wishing to use the local facilities, such as the library, chemist, shops, classes and events at the Miners & Mechanics Institute and so on. A particular problem are long term stationary vehicles (many days or weeks at a time) and those using it as effectively a park and ride car park and getting the bus in to Truro for the day. The introduction of peak chargeable parking will alleviate this problem.

Has this got community backing?
A full public survey, in which 527 people responded, took place in Autumn 2020.  90% were permanent residents in the Parish.  85% said there was a big issue with the lack of spaces in the car park, and an overwhelming 82% wanted the introduction of charging (see here for full survey results).  The community perspective is therefore that this car park is needed during daytime hours for shops and services, and that vehicle turnover is important. During a follow up formal consultation in 2021, just two responses against the introduction of charges were received.

What about resident permits in the car park or on nearby streets?
The Parish Council raised the issues of knock-on impacts to nearby residents with the Highways Authority – Cornwall Council. We asked about the possibility of introducing parking permits for adjacent roads, ensuring only residents could park on nearby streets.  The Highways Authority rejected this course of action on a number of grounds, including:

  • The case for on-street residential permit introduction is not robust enough – this method is used in areas with greater vehicle movements and footfall and there are few places in Cornwall that would be suited to this – areas of Truro being a rare one.
  • The cost of introducing a scheme is significant and the Highways Authority would not pay.
  • The success of such schemes is questionable, as residents often complain about paying for permits that do not guarantee them a space near their homes.
  • The Highways Authority will not give permission to make changes to on-street parking/restrictions around Trelawny Road car park prior to the introduction of chargeable parking, and will only investigate if and when issues do arise as a result of the establishment of chargeable parking.

The Parish Council also considered the issuing of parking permits to residents to enable long-stay parking inside the car park.  After repeated investigation and discussion the Council confirmed that their opinion on usage of the car park is that the main daytime purpose should be for service users, and that the main night-time purpose is for residents.  Issuing permits within the car park would not encourage the turnover of vehicles needed to make sure spaces are available during the day, therefore defeating the object of the whole operation. The Council recognise that residents should benefit from free parking at night.

Is this just a money maker for the Council?
No. The Parish Council currently receive around £10,000pa in honesty box income from the car park.  After the introduction of charging, the Council expect more than 90% of car park users to use only the free parking periods (based on like-for-like examples elsewhere in Cornwall), and are anticipating a net drop in income from the car park as a result of charging.  The Parish Council have taken this course of action entirely to enable the car park to be used more effectively for the good of all, and certainly not as a money maker.  A profiteering organisation would install a much higher tariff and have no free periods of parking. The charging tariff being brought in is much cheaper than like for like private or Cornwall Council-run car parks.