NB. The Report was NOT  unanimously agreed, as suggested in the final version, as should be very clear from my notes below on some of the points I argued at the meeting.

  1. “There may be a number of factors which may impact on the number of people visiting Malton, one of which may be car parking.
  2. There is within Malton a significant amount of free parking within close proximity to the town centre which impacts on car parking usage and income. Likewise, the sale of permits distorts the issue.
  3. Whilst over the period of the trial, the figures show some decline in overall revenues across all malton car parks,  there was evidence from previous years that there was a trend of declining income: the rate of decline reduced during the trial period, but it was not apparent that this was a result of the trial.
  4. During the period of the trial, taking all factors into account, it is difficult to argue either way with certainty as to the success of the trial.
  5. The review of car parking did not adequately reflect the occupancy of the car park, although usage and ticket sales were reviewed. There were no adequate measures of occupancy available, although if it were measured, it would be distorted by free parking for the market users, the permits and free permits for community house. It is likely that the average length of stay during the trial was higher.
  6. Whilst traders will often point to car parking as a deterrent to visitors, the Committee felt that there were a number of other issues including the retail offer.
  7. It is difficult to ascertain the impact of car parking charges for potential shoppers, as the people who need to be consulted are those who do not presently use the town, and they are nearly impossible to identify in order to ascertain whether it is in  fact the cost of parking which impacts on their decision.
  8. Malton is different from the other market towns although it has been identified as a service centre for the rural hinterland, its tourist offer is not as great.
  9. Due to he poor return rate from traders to a questionaire, the impact of the trial could not be evaluated fully. The indifferent response indicating that they had little noticieable impact on increasing turnover and footfall and therefore no conclusions can be made on increased turnover or footfall.
  10. External review of car parking charges provided some information about the impact of car parking and demand. However, much of the analysis was for other towns in other areas, drawing contradictory conclusions.”


  • Apart from  Elizabeth Shields, I was the only member who was speaking up for local business, and so it was not possible to fully challenge every point I disagreed with without seeming to hog the meeting. However the following comments should be noted:
  • As usual, the procedure was biased. Each of the three visitors (Roddy Bushell, Denys Townsend and David Lloyd Williams) was only allowed into the room to make their own presentation and answer questions, and none was allowed to listen to the   presentations of the others, while the Council's officers were allowed to listen to all the discussion and to take part in the discussion after Roddy, David and Denys had left. Keeping witnesses out of a room while other witnesses are giving evidence resembles a criminal trial, where the witnesses are not trusted.
  • Para 2. Correct as far as it goes, but fails to take into account the impact in regard to competition of the free car parking at Morrisons.
  • Para.3  This is a very important concession. The Council now acknowledges that there was a decline in revenue during the period before the trial, and that this rate of decline reduced during the trial. If that is so, it is difficult to see how the Council can argue that the trial fees had an adverse impact on Council revenues.
  • Further, the figures I produced showed that, over the trial period, there was an upwards trend in car park revenues – I won’t go into this, as you will have seen my earlier emails and charts on this point.
  • Para 4. If it is accepted that it is difficult to argue whether or not the trial was a success, it must follow that the conclusions in the officers’ report presented to Community Serv ices on 31st January 2008 (stating that the trial had not succeeded) were mistaken.
  • Further, I would say that there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the trial was a success and that, if the trial tariff had been made permanent, the Council would be receiving more revenue now than is currently the case – the Council has simply priced itself out of the market.
  • Para. 5 This too is an important concession, as it acknowledges that one of the criteria of the evaluation of the trial (ie. occupancy) was not met.
  • Further I believe occupancy could have been monitored on a very rough basis– all that was required was a daily lunchtime count.  The committee’s grudging acceptance that “it was likely” that the average length of stay during the trial was higher should be noted.
  • Para. 6 I did not argue this point – I did not think it was relevant.
  • Para. 7. At the meeting I drew attention to the charts which Roddy had exhibited at the end of his proof.
  • Para. 8. At last we have an acknowledgement that Malton is different. I do not understand what is the relevance of the fact that Malton is categorised as a principle service centre.
  • Para. 9. I argued that a 20% return of the questionnaire was  a good return, particularly bearing in mind the importance the Council has attached to the 500 odd returns received in regard to the Milton Rooms consultation that took place in August (500 out of a population of 50,000 -  just 1% of those consulted). 
  • Para 10. I told the meeting I totally disagreed with this. I said the only independent analysis of the impact of car park charges on trade was the Lockwood Report, and that the conclusions in that report were very clear.  Reference was then made to the YF Renaissence Market Towns Car Parking Research document, and we were told (by Phil Long and Paul Cresswell) that this contradicted the Lockwood conclusions. I simply referred to previous notes I had sent which show that it does not, but this was not accepted.


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