Guernsey’s Environment Department proposal for paid parking

February 8th, 2009 by States of Guernsey Environment Department

The Guernsey Environment Department presents its paid parking proposals in the Billet D’Etat VII to be discussed and debated in the February 2009 sitting of the States of Deliberation.

The Environment Department’s Paid Parking Executive Summary reaches the following conclusions:

The States have approved the Road Transport Strategy and that strategy requires additional revenue funding. The States have agreed to the principle that paid parking should contribute to that funding and the States agreed that a sum of 15 pence per hour is appropriate. However, that sum was essentially targeted, at least initially, at long stay commuters of St Peter Port leading to an 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday parking scheme. This option has been seen by many as inequitable.

The Department has tendered solutions to deliver the States resolution and has taken steps to put the legislative framework in place. This has led the Department to conclude that insufficient funds would be delivered by the resolution of the States. In order to raise the required funds the Department considered a number of potential recommendations to the States as follows:

a.) To introduce an hourly paid parking fee at 15 pence per hour in accordance with the previous resolutions of the States save that the paid parking periods would be effective from 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday inclusive.

b.) To introduce an hourly paid parking fee in accordance with the previous resolutions of the States such fee to be targeted at long stay commuters to St Peter Port and therefore to be effective from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday inclusive save that the hourly fee to be increased from 15 pence to at least 20 pence per hour.

c.) To introduce an hourly paid parking fee in accordance with the previous resolutions of the States save that the areas of paid parking would be extended to include disc controlled car parks throughout the Island.

d.) To rescind the States resolutions in respect of paid parking and to direct the Treasury and Resources Department to introduce an additional fuel tax of 1.2 pence per litre hypothecated to fund the transport strategy.

e.) To rescind the States resolutions in respect of hourly paid parking and to introduce an annual parking charge of £26 collected through the form of a renewable parking disc to be displayed in all disc controlled parking zones.

The Department is unanimous in its view that the latter option (recommendation e.) is the most cost effective, practical and acceptable option.

2 Responses to “Guernsey’s Environment Department proposal for paid parking”

  1. Rosie

    This is a stupid suggestion….. and I think Environment know that.

    I am very happy to pay a tax to support a public transport service. Public transport is there for the benefit of the whole island and everyone who lives here… unlike my car which benefits only me and has a negative effect on the island as a whole whenever I use it. So charge me a yearly tax on my car…. the bigger the car, the more I should pay….. but call it a ‘Public Transport Tax’. It is NOT a car parking fee since it is not charging for when or how much I use the car parks.

    The point of charging for parking, is to create a disincentive for using the car. A yearly parking rate has the opposite effect and encourages you to get the most value out of your parking disc by using it as much as possible.

    Alternatively, I would be happy with raising the necessary funds for public transport by adding more tax onto fuel. They say that less than 2p per litre would do the trick however I think it ought to be at least 5p and then the busses ought to be free. The extra money is also needed to increase the amount of busses so that the service is viable for more people.

  2. Michelle Levrier

    Words cannot describe how stupid this proposal is. The suggestion is to introduce another tax, just like road tax, but it will be a parking tax. It will affect everyone regardless of how often they use parking zones, so it is a complete rejection of the polluter/user pays principle.
    If you park in any parking zone around the island once or twice a year you will pay the same as someone who parks at North Beach 8 hours a day 5 days a week.

    The purpose of the traffic strategy is to reduce commuter traffic around St Peter Port and around schools, as it is agreed that these are the areas where the island has traffic problems. Any fee or charge for parking or taking the car into town should aim to discourage that activity, or through an extra tax on fuel which will discourage vehicle use in general.

    The rationale behind moving away from car tax was that once the fixed cost (road tax) was paid, people felt they had paid for the right to use their car anywhere and anywhen. Moving the tax onto fuel means that the real cost of using the car is more visible, and people can avoid that cost by using alternative travel methods. The parking clock charge is yet another fixed cost which is a recessive form of taxation. It does nothing to reduce the use of scarce parking facilities, and it does not offer any financial advantage for avoiding bringing your car into town.

    As a pure funding mechanism it is far less efficient than putting 1.5 pence on fuel.

    On both environmental and fairness grounds this proposal should be given the boot.

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