Plaid Cymru Gwynedd Councillors in Ardudwy are delighted that discussions with officers have led to amendments to new parking charges introduced to Gwynedd long stay car parks.
Residents and business owners voiced concerns to Llanbedr Councillor, Annwen Hughes and Harlech’s newly elected Councillor, Gwynfor Owen regarding the new parking charges to the long stay car parks (band 2) at Y Maes, Llandanwg plus Min y Don and Bron y Graig Ucha at Harlech.
“We are elected members, living within our own communities, it is therefore vital that we hear people’s views and perspective when changes affect our local areas.” explains Llanbedr Councillor Annwen Hughes.
“A number of people made contact with me in recent days, asking why the 4 hour and 8 hour charge had been deleted from the long stay car park, and a standard 12 hour charge of £5 and 24 hours of £10 had been introduced on the 30th of June.
Plaid Cymru’s Gwynedd Councillor, Annwen Hughes met last week with Gwynedd officers and the cabinet member responsible for parking charges, Cllr Gareth Griffith, to discuss the issue.
“We are fortunate to have an open and professional working relationship with Gwynedd officers, and my fellow Plaid Cymru Councillor, Gareth Griffith was keen to find a solution to encourage people to park, shop and visit our villages and rural areas for a shorter period of time, even within our long stay car parks.
Gwynedd’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, Gareth Griffith said: “We are always keen to listen to local people’s views, and I am pleased that a solution has been found that gives residents more options for parking. It is a highly emotive issue and has a direct impact on local communities, businesses and the environment. From the Council’s perspective it is definitely a balancing act.
Gwynedd Officers carried out an in-depth review of Gwynedd’s parking strategy in recent months, and bought recommendations to a task group and the cabinet. Following input from the local councillors, an additional two strands will now be introduced to band 2’s long stay car parks - a 2 hour option and a 4 hour option. The charges will now include:
£1 for 2 hours
£2 for 4 hours
£5.50 for 12 hours
£11 for 24 hours
Updating and amending the new charges will take place in the coming weeks, once signage and all IT software has been upgraded on the relevant car parking sites. It is hopeful that the new charges will be in place by the end of July.
Cllr Annwen Hughes said: “I am grateful to Llanbedr and Llandanwg residents for making contact with me in relation to this issue and that a reasonable solution has been found. Covid-19 has had a major impact on our area, like many areas within Wales, and we need to be versatile and adapt to the impact it has on our communities.
“Our businesses have been hit, our communities have been affected, and we must seek a balance between encouraging residents to use the facilities we have in our villages whilst also ensuring the busy tourism period does not engulf our communities. Official parking locations are therefore vital to ensure the safety and enjoyment of people living and visiting our area.”
Councillor Gwynfor Owen concluded: “Two of Harlech’s car parks, like Llandanwg were affected by these changes. I am pleased local residents made contact with me to discuss the matter and I’m grateful to my fellow Plaid Cymru Councillors for their support in seeking a solution.
“The economic environment is still trying to recover following the Covid-19 restrictions placed upon us, and it is important that we have all the necessary tools to encourage people to use the facilities available in Harlech, before the end of the school term and the busy summer period kicks in next week.”