Parking u-turn continues. Free first half hour trial for Cornwall Council car parks

Parking u-turn continues. Free first half hour trial for Cornwall Council car parks

Parking u-turn continues. Free first half hour trial for Cornwall Council car parks

First published in News
Last updated

Visitors to Falmouth and Penryn will not have to delve into their pockets if they are making a flying visit, with a trial of 'free' parking for the first half hour.

After years of being accused of hiking fees and treating locals and visitors as a cash cow, Cornwall Council has announced a new scheme offering free parking for half an hour in all car parks it runs, but only if you use your mobile phone.

The 'RingGo' system is not free, while there is no charge for registering with RingGo and no charge for downloading or using the RingGo iPhone and Android applications, when you park your vehicle with RingGo, you generally pay a 20p convenience charge on top of the normal parking tariff charges which apply. 

If you call RingGo, the number used is a geographic one, so you are charged the standard rate agreed with your mobile phone operator. These calls can be included free in mobile phone packages, so if you receive a free “bundle of minutes”, your call will usually be included within this.

If you use the RingGo “text to park” option, you will pay for the text message at your agreed operator rate.  You will also pay a 10p charge for the summary text message (which you automatically receive), providing confirmation of your parking session details.

The optional parking session confirmation messages and reminder texts (alerting you when your session is about to run out), cost 10p per message.

The offer, which begins on March 1 and runs until April 20, has been developed in response to calls from some local businesses for a free first half hour of parking to allow people to make a flying visit to their local town centre.

The council says it will be monitoring the response to this offer to assess how much demand there is for free half hour parking and where that demand is greatest.

“It is very important that car parks should contribute to the competitive environment of our town centres, and that the council should manage the car parks to support local businesses” said Bert Biscoe, the council’s cabinet member for transport and waste.

“These trials are an effort to understand what measures, when and in which places, we can use in future to enhance trading, improve accessibility for people needing to come into town centres for services, and to sustain car parks income to contribute to the maintenance of the road network.”

The council says it would be too costly to change the pay and display machines in all the council run car parks for this trial, so anyone wanting to take advantage of the offer will need to use the RingGo mobile phone payment service.

First time users will be required to provide some initial information and can register online at www.ringgo.co.uk.

The free half hour parking is the latest in a series of car parking trials which are currently being implemented by the Council.

These include:

• Reduced season ticket charges in Council run car parks in 45 towns and villages across Cornwall.

• Changes to the winter parking charges in Bude and St Ives

• Reduction in day charges in less well used car parks in Liskeard and Penzance

• Changes to the tariff structure in car parks in Hayle and Camborne and one car park in St Austell.

Other measures in place to support town centres include a trial of a £1 evening charge after 6pm in Penzance, Newquay and Falmouth. Members of the public can also park for £1 after 4pm in some short stay car parks in Truro and St Austell, while some other towns have free parking after 4pm.

Please check the details on tariff boards in individual car parks for more information.

A council spokesman said: "The results of both this trial and the other parking trials which are taking place across Cornwall will be analysed to assess the level of demand and to get feedback from members of the public and businesses. This information will then be used to plan future parking charges and future offers."

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:38pm Mon 24 Feb 14

victoriameldrew says...

when I saw the headline I thought, great, about time as I only ever go into town to make a fleeting visit to the bank - taking about 10 minutes or so max - then I read on and saw that you have to register with your mobile phone. Now, I realise I am in the minority here but, I do not have a mobile, I don't intend getting one I hate the blasted things. So, unless they come up with a plan which we all can use, I will still be coughing up the £1.70 for up to 2 hours charge or, not go to the town at all and carry on with shopping on-line and, maybe venture into internet banking.
when I saw the headline I thought, great, about time as I only ever go into town to make a fleeting visit to the bank - taking about 10 minutes or so max - then I read on and saw that you have to register with your mobile phone. Now, I realise I am in the minority here but, I do not have a mobile, I don't intend getting one I hate the blasted things. So, unless they come up with a plan which we all can use, I will still be coughing up the £1.70 for up to 2 hours charge or, not go to the town at all and carry on with shopping on-line and, maybe venture into internet banking. victoriameldrew
  • Score: 6

9:43pm Mon 24 Feb 14

lauz05 says...

so I will still have to pay for the RingGo system...yes that's what free is..also how about making sunday parking free again?
so I will still have to pay for the RingGo system...yes that's what free is..also how about making sunday parking free again? lauz05
  • Score: 0

10:24am Tue 25 Feb 14

ElevenEleven says...

This is a start but the hourly charges are still far too high.

Bert Bissoe's statement that "It is very important that car parks should contribute to the competitive environment of our town centres, and that the council should manage the car parks to support local businesses” is laughable given Cornwall Council's record on this issue.

Pleased to see some movement but we must see a permanent lowering of charges across the board. Hope this is not too little too late.
This is a start but the hourly charges are still far too high. Bert Bissoe's statement that "It is very important that car parks should contribute to the competitive environment of our town centres, and that the council should manage the car parks to support local businesses” is laughable given Cornwall Council's record on this issue. Pleased to see some movement but we must see a permanent lowering of charges across the board. Hope this is not too little too late. ElevenEleven
  • Score: 6

9:56am Sat 1 Mar 14

telstar1962 says...

Until Cornwall Council realise that up to 2 hours free parking across the board is needed in all small Towns, in order for small shops to benefit, especially when the Supermarkets offers this as a normal minimum, then the unfair competition with Big Business will continue.

It is a national problem that all the Council's are involved in.It is first and foremost a money collecting exercise to bring in revenue i.e. men in militiary style uniforms patrolling the streets, slapping bright yellow and black parking tickets on vehicles who may have overstayed their parking by 10 minutes.

It's a bit like those car parks at Praa Sands. There's no 'Welcome to Praa Sands' signs and 'hope you enjoy our lovely beach etc', but huge threatening signs warning you of the consequences of not abiding by the rules set out by the wealthy retired Bank director as a means of maximizing his retirement pension.

Places like the one above are avoided by me,due to the unfriendly nature of the place.

It must be the same for all those who go shop at Tesco Sainsbury or Asda. At least you know your not going to be robbed by the men in uniform, if you park for 10 minutes after your allotted time

The car parks have become a pure money collecting exercise

If up to 2 hours free parking was provided now, do you think the turnover of the local shops would go up or down ?

Logic would say up ?

More money generated in the Town, therefore less money required from parking machines or Traffic Enforcement Officers ?
Until Cornwall Council realise that up to 2 hours free parking across the board is needed in all small Towns, in order for small shops to benefit, especially when the Supermarkets offers this as a normal minimum, then the unfair competition with Big Business will continue. It is a national problem that all the Council's are involved in.It is first and foremost a money collecting exercise to bring in revenue i.e. men in militiary style uniforms patrolling the streets, slapping bright yellow and black parking tickets on vehicles who may have overstayed their parking by 10 minutes. It's a bit like those car parks at Praa Sands. There's no 'Welcome to Praa Sands' signs and 'hope you enjoy our lovely beach etc', but huge threatening signs warning you of the consequences of not abiding by the rules set out by the wealthy retired Bank director as a means of maximizing his retirement pension. Places like the one above are avoided by me,due to the unfriendly nature of the place. It must be the same for all those who go shop at Tesco Sainsbury or Asda. At least you know your not going to be robbed by the men in uniform, if you park for 10 minutes after your allotted time The car parks have become a pure money collecting exercise If up to 2 hours free parking was provided now, do you think the turnover of the local shops would go up or down ? Logic would say up ? More money generated in the Town, therefore less money required from parking machines or Traffic Enforcement Officers ? telstar1962
  • Score: 3

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree