Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Lisa and Graham served on the executive committee of the Chamber of Commerce from 2000 to 2017

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Getting into and out of Wiltshire towns .. a.k.a. Car Parking?

Background - Wiltshire Council is currently consulting on the way forward for car parking in Wiltshire. Parking fees are always unpopular, and can be expensive to collect. But there should be some gains from a degree of system (if not price) standardization in the new, larger area rather than the old districts. There's also the big question of how do you actually service a growing town with a lack of parking spaces such as Melksham - do you push up prices to encourage people to use public transport (but then that MUST be practical), do you provide edge-of-town parking, or what?

Here is a draft response in my Chambers of Commerce "thread". Interestingly, it also fits well with the TransWilts Rail "thread" - there's a real opportunity for everyone to pull in the same direction here, whether they end up as individual driving into the centre, parking on the edge, using a bus, or using a train. Let's hope we can find a way to get "there" from "here"!

Car parking consultation - draft of response to be submitted prior to 9.2010 deadline

We appreciate the need to re-visit car parking schemes and charges with a view to having a system that's suitable for the future, encouraging of vitality and businesses in the town, positive in the impression it leaves on users (be they regulars or occasional visitors to the area), broadly county wide rather than a plethora of different schemes to maintain, and cost effective in how it operates. And we will applaud the county moving forward with these goals.

Some issues with the current system / some of the proposals

Melksham car parking at Canberra House - signs to be totally ignored by Wiltshire staff?1. Melksham offers free parking of up to one hour in the central car park, which is accessed via a cul de sac which itself has a no right turn at the entrance. So traffic for that car park from the northern half of the town has to pass along the High Street, around the Market Place and back along the High Street before turning in. This traffic causes jams and detracts from the town's attractiveness for people once parked up / after they've walked in / got off buses.

2. The current system requires you to know how long you'll be parking for, does not allow for extensions, and punishes heavily if you overstay. This is against the interest of businesses in the town who would be helped by people being able to stay (and spend more money!) if they wish.

3. All day parking for staff - some of whom are on the lower wages - takes a disproportionate amount of their wages, and for many of them there is no viable alternative.

4. There is a view that rules and regulations are complex, and are applied to the letter with a primary intent of maximizing income. Much of this relates to item (2) where a long queue in the post office can result in a stiff fine for just a couple of minutes. But cases such as parking on the white line on the edge of a space (only space available ... neighboring vehicle on arrival overlapping it) have also been raised as being harsh.

5. Charges which require multiple coins of different denominations and machines that do not give change again lead to an overcharging which results in negative feeling. It has been suggested that such pricing (and the complex rules of (2), and pay on arrival) are a cynical ploy to increase revenue without raising the headline parking rates, and in the absence of definitive and east to follow evidence to the contrary, this reflects badly on the organization in control of the scheme.

6. Figures quoted as being the running costs for car parks have not been fully explained; we find it hard to understand why it costs 48000 per annum to look after a piece of tarmac with a machine to take money on it.

7. All day parking for employees is expensive, and threatens to be more so if the only changes made at this stage are a standardization and hike in prices.

8. The current scheme encourages people to park in some residential areas which are close by the town on foot. Note that there is no major private parking or tied scheme in Melksham as there are in some other towns.


Positive approaches for Wiltshire Council

Devizes car parking - sensible scheme1. A system which allows people to pay for the time they actually stay (rather than the time they estimate) would be welcomed. This could be pay on departure, or some form of mobile phone topup system (that last being less favored as it will be obtuse for occasional visitors). By standardizing systems across the county, you'll have the benefit of scale on a system that would be potentially impractical in just a small area.

2. Car parks at different rates should be re-arranged to ensure that the high turnover spaces are no longer in the car park that requires much of the traffic to pass twice through the centre of town on arrival and again on departure.

3. Practical public transport alternatives should be provided - it needs more to encourage people to use buses than just putting up parking rates. In Melksham there's a specific opportunity available with changes already underway and the No. 14 bus provides a good starting point. Add to that services provide by the "section 106" Asda bus which could usefully serve the new housing area BEFORE everyone there buys second cars, and retime Chippenham - Trowbridge and Bath - Bowerhill buses to run every 30 minutes, and you'll have a network that runs every 30 minutes to most areas of the town. The new zigzag bus (already funded) provides access into town from other villages. With 600 council employees transferring to the outskirts of Melksham for a period of 2 years, this is an ideal time to re-tune the system; I spoke with Faresave at some length (w/c 16 August 2010) and understand much better why their service isn't already on the opposite half hour. The employee move may provide an environment in which this can change for the benefit of all concerned. A bus service should call at Melksham station to connect from and to each of the trains that should be running under the GWRUS proposals.

4. Backing up (3), council owned land at Melksham Station can provide car parking (initially 150 space on currently unlet council owned land, expanding to 300 later) for walk or bus connection into town centre and for rail passenger use. The current expansion of Melksham would otherwise put more pressure on the town centre. The coming of the Melksham Link / Wilts and Berks canal is also an opportunity for Melksham, and parking changes should take that into consideration. Parking at this edge-of-town site should be at a low rate, all day (echoing the response of the president of Chippenham Chamber who's calling for similar things in Chippenham, and probably many others)

5. Consideration should be given to resident's permits for places like Stratton Walk, but we appreciate the cost of running such a scheme. Have better if the money could be gainfully and positively spend on items (3) and (4).

6. Current very-short-term roadside spaces should not be reduced in number, though there may be a case to switching them to 30 minutes rather than one hour if done in conjunctions with items (1) and (2).


Illustrations ...

Top. Melksham. The Canberra youth development centre, run by Wiltshire Council themselves. Even they have a parking problem at times - note the "no parking" sign ....

Bottom. Devizes. This is a good practise example - a town that encourages visitors by car but is set up so that the centre's not overwhelmed by them.


(written 2010-08-23, updated 2010-08-24)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z402 - Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  [4738] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - my final Presidents report - (2017-05-10)
  [4672] Annual review of Melksham Matters for Chamber of Commerce AGM - (2016-05-15)
  [4399] The Campus in Melksham - name, logo, and livery choice - (2015-01-18)
  [4278] Future Swindon - Westbury train services. At current level into the future? - (2014-05-25)
  [4170] Herman Miller coming to Melksham - the Chamber of Commerce is briefed - (2013-09-10)
  [4164] Melksham Market - every Tuesday - (2013-09-03)
  [4151] Tell me a bit about Melksham - (2013-08-10)
  [4103] Questions from children about Melksham Campus - (2013-05-26)
  [4097] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - Report for AGM, 21st May 2013 - (2013-05-21)
  [4046] Over a hundred welcoming businesses - Melksham Town Centre - (2013-03-17)
  [4041] Report on the last year - Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Melksham Without Parish Council - (2013-03-11)
  [4014] Costa Coffee in Melksham - is it a good idea? - (2013-02-22)
  [4002] Images of Melksham you havent seen before - (2013-02-13)
  [3987] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - join us in our future - (2013-01-21)
  [3948] Quiet little town? Advanced Technology Centre? - (2012-12-08)
  [3889] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - whence in 2013 and beyond? - (2012-10-12)
  [3880] Chamber of Commerce - looking forward in Melksham and in Wessex - (2012-10-04)
  [3867] The difficult interface between the business, council and voluntary sectors - (2012-09-19)
  [3850] Bus times - Chippenham Station to Melksham, with London connections - (2012-08-25)
  [3818] Making things happen - litter and ASB and lost dogs in Melksham - (2012-07-25)
  [3812] The Melksham News - July 2012 - Part 1, Campus and Chamber of Commerce - (2012-07-22)
  [3787] Melksham Pride - the Chamber of Commerce, and the future - (2012-06-29)
  [3768] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - looking to our future shape. Pivotal meeting next Tuesday - (2012-06-19)
  [3767] How well do you know Melksham? - (2012-06-17)
  [3752] Melksham Visitors Map - Bus routes and train lines to and from the town - (2012-06-04)
  [3751] Public transport for international arrivals into Melksham - (2012-06-04)
  [3748] Not everyone has a computer - 9 more ways to learn about the Melksham Campus - (2012-06-03)
  [3739] Go green - business seminar in Melksham - (2012-05-21)
  [3732] Ten more visitors to your premises every day? - (2012-05-14)
  [3714] Just 12 winners? Or 371 or more? Town Centres. - (2012-04-30)
  [3710] Encouraging business in Melksham and its neighbourhood - keep business local?? - (2012-04-27)
  [3706] An exciting Chamber of Commerce AGM - sound like an Oxymoron? - (2012-04-25)
  [3700] Why do people use chains rather than independent traders? - (2012-04-18)
  [3697] Events in Melksham - read all about them, and tell us about yours - (2012-04-15)
  [3696] Melksham government and business organisations - (2012-04-14)
  [3693] Wiltshire Business Support Service - (2012-04-11)
  [3682] Melksham Business Newsreel - (2012-04-03)
  [3677] Some advise for guest speakers at meetings - (2012-03-31)
  [3672] Melksham Train Service - please support the TransWilts case for regular trains - (2012-03-25)
  [3663] Changing shops and organisations - Melksham, the last and next five years - (2012-03-21)
  [3627] Meeting Report - Tuesday 21st Feb - to Melksham Chamber of Commerce from Shadow Community Operations Board - (2012-02-27)
  [3598] Melksham Civic Awards - report and pictures - (2012-01-29)
  [3560] Melksham, Month by month through 2011 - (2011-12-23)
  [3527] Melksham - changing times, an opportunity for the future - (2011-11-23)
  [3496] Melksham - Business to Business Speed Networking - build ahead for 2012 - (2011-10-26)
  [3495] Looking forward - Chamber of Commerce has 2012 and beyond on the agenda - (2011-10-26)
  [3492] Upcoming events in and about Melksham - more dates for your diary - (2011-10-22)
  [3481] Some thoughts in answer to some Melksham Campus questions - (2011-10-14)
  [3475] Havant - Shop Frontages. - (2011-10-12)
  [3470] Currently pictured in Melksham - (2011-10-09)
  [3438] Melksham to become a part of Trowbridge? - (2011-09-13)
  [3427] What is on the Melksham Agenda? - (2011-09-09)
  [3423] 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 12? - (2011-09-07)
  [3420] Making best use of the new enthusiasm for Melksham - (2011-09-05)
  [3383] Are people who walk into Melksham being asked to subsidise parking? - (2011-08-09)
  [3380] Melksham Jelly - An Occasional Office for Home Workers - (2011-08-06)
  [3343] Summer Sunday Train Service Starts - Swindon Chippenham and Melksham to Weymouth - (2011-07-03)
  [3340] Summer Sunday Timetable - TransWilts Trains - (2011-06-30)
  [3334] A lesson from the sporran market? - (2011-06-25)
  [3325] The Olympic Torch, and Melksham House - (2011-06-14)
  [3307] Melksham Community Radio launches - (2011-05-28)
  [3299] Presidents Report to Melksham Chamber of Commerce, 24.5.2011 - (2011-05-24)
  [3279] Letter to The Editor - (2011-05-06)
  [3275] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - grows to appoint new Press Officer. Welcome. Sam - (2011-05-02)
  [3272] Melksham Car Parking - current charges and limits - (2011-05-01)
  [3249] Events - Spring and Early Summer 2011 in Melksham - (2011-04-17)
  [3246] Melksham - the way forward. 26th April, Well House Manor - (2011-04-13)
  [3217] Vandalism and riot from the minority - the effect - (2011-03-28)
  [3214] Melksham Campus - any last minute inputs from Melksham businesses? - (2011-03-26)
  [3193] Melksham Campus - what, why, questions, concerns and how you can input - (2011-03-04)
  [3188] What proportion of the British Workforce still works a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, week? - (2011-03-01)
  [3173] What is the Melksham Chamber of Commerce? - (2011-02-18)
  [3172] On consultations, car parking, and Melksham town centre - (2011-02-17)
  [3162] Keep your business customer-friendly! - (2011-02-09)
  [3141] Wiltshire Rail services - a golden opportunity - (2011-01-21)
  [3117] Opportunities for Melksham - new businesses in the town - (2011-01-01)
  [3113] Trowbridge and Melksham to Chippenham - more roadworks, even slower journey over the winter - (2010-12-30)
  [3088] Melksham - two many councils? - (2010-12-16)
  [2995] A river in Melksham is not just for boaters. - (2010-10-11)
  [2982] Travel, Transport and Tourism - A vision for Melksham, 2026 - (2010-10-03)
  [2959] A Melksham news roundup - (2010-09-18)
  [2957] Welcome to Countrywides new Melksham store - (2010-09-15)
  [2891] Wiltshire Council ask how they can help businesses - (2010-07-27)
  [2883] Melksham Oak - photos of the new community school - (2010-07-22)
  [2872] Moved - Melksham Lorry Park - (2010-07-15)
  [2867] Cycling in Melksham, and looking forward - (2010-07-11)
  [2853] Transport in Wessex - today and into the future - (2010-07-04)
  [2837] Lorry Parking in Melksham - (2010-06-29)
  [2827] Melksham - a gem in Wiltshire - (2010-06-26)
  [2782] Tell the Melksham Chamber or you only have yourself to blame - (2010-05-26)
  [2779] The history and future of Melksham Chamber of Commerce - (2010-05-25)
  [2770] Melksham Chamber of Commerce - Presidents report to AGM - (2010-05-19)
  [2725] How do our tactics help us meet the strategy, for the greater good? - (2010-04-16)
  [2683] Car Parking in Melksham - (2010-03-18)
  [2666] Random thoughts on Melksham Town Planning and development - (2010-03-08)
  [2640] How is your tax pound spent? - (2010-02-18)
  [2594] Melksham Area - your community view is sought - (2010-01-23)
  [2568] Forums for your Melksham and open source discussions - (2010-01-09)
  [2546] How well do you know Melksham - a quiz for Christmas - (2009-12-21)
  [2544] Vision for Wiltshire - (2009-12-20)
  [2540] Rock and hard place .. and the relaxing right one won - (2009-12-18)
  [2531] Melksham - new Tuesday Market - (2009-12-09)
  [2521] Melksham Market - Tuesdays, 09:00 to 14:00 - (2009-12-01)
  [2514] The road show has been - where now? - (2009-11-27)
  [2508] Community Area Partnership - inaugural AGM - (2009-11-20)
  [2495] Planning the future of Wiltshire - (2009-11-07)
  [2487] Melksham Forum - (2009-11-01)
  [2465] Melksham Town - asleep or awake? - (2009-10-21)
  [2459] New Web Site for Melksham Chamber of Commerce - (2009-10-18)
  [2437] Wiltshire Unitary News - Chamber of Commerce Intelligence - (2009-10-04)
  [2328] Melksham - no trains, no southbound buses through the town - (2009-08-08)
  [2289] pre-Inaugural briefing - Melksham Community Area Partnership - (2009-07-15)
  [2288] Wiltshire Community Area Partnerships - (2009-07-15)
  [2260] Important - the future of Melksham / Chamber of Commerce - (2009-06-28)
  [2220] Melksham Traders - where do we go? - (2009-06-05)
  [2194] Melksham Business Map - Chamber of Commerce, Tourist Information and Town Council - (2009-05-21)
  [2181] You cannot please all of the people all of the time - (2009-05-14)
  [2119] Make your business a DESTINATION business - (2009-04-05)
  [2111] Business Networking for Melksham - 23rd April - (2009-04-01)
  [2095] Blue Ridge and Melksham Chambers of Commerce - (2009-03-21)
  [2043] Confidence, Customer Service and Tourism in Melksham - (2009-02-15)
  [1987] One Cheer for Local Democracy - Asda in Melksham - (2009-01-11)
  [1979] Looking forward, in Melksham, in 2009 - (2009-01-05)
  [1934] Lidl opens in Melksham - (2008-12-11)
  [1904] Ruby, Perl, Linux, MySQL - some training notes - (2008-11-23)
  [1892] Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry - (2008-11-17)
  [1881] Wiltshire Council says - part 1 - (2008-11-13)
  [1880] Melksham Chamber of Commerce, or the FSB - (2008-11-12)
  [1792] All the pieces fall into place - hotel and courses - (2008-09-10)
  [1748] Hotel room prices - Melksham, Wiltshire - (2008-08-11)
  [1642] Summer! - (2008-05-15)
  [1633] Changing a screen saver from a web page (PHP, Perl, OSX) - (2008-05-06)
  [1507] Comments on proposed Asda Superstore for Melksham - (2008-01-14)
  [1504] Flooding by Asda-s proposed new supermarket - (2008-01-12)
  [1476] Shopping for Christmas and looking forward - (2007-12-17)
  [1432] Wiltshire County Council - Budget Consultation - (2007-11-15)
  [1429] Remembrance day - inside a church and inside the day - (2007-11-11)
  [1250] Business speed networking - a place tonight! - (2007-06-28)
  [1223] Asda opening large new store in Melksham - (2007-06-08)
  [717] A customer service company - (2006-05-11)


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Getting into and out of Wiltshire towns .. a.k.a. Car Parking?
Syncronise - software, trains, and buses. Please!
Walk - Tilehurst to Pangborne
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