Cornwall Council has abandoned plans to introduce parking meters in Falmouth and Penryn after the idea was opposed by 95 per cent of those who responded to a formal consultation last year.

The council had proposed installing on-street parking meters on most of the streets around Falmouth's town centre, including Bar Road, Berkeley Vale, Grove Place, Killigrew Street, Kimberley Park Road, New Street and also at Pendennis Head, Queen Mary Road and Swanpool Road. In Penryn, pay and display would have been introduced in Broad Street, Commercial Road and Upper and Lower Market Street.

Residents and businesses were consulted on the proposals, along with plans to introduce resident parking zones, and after digesting all the information gathered, the council has decided not to move ahead with the on-street parking charges.

With regards to the pay and display proposals, 827 responses were received, including 122 from businesses, along with two petitions containing a total of 1,855 signatures, from across Falmouth and Penryn. Almost all of them, 95 per cent, didn't think the charges would help people have better access to shops and businesses.

Although the council is not proposing to progress the scheme "at this time," it has stated: "Other measures will be required to address traffic management related to on-street parking, including a review of waiting times and provision of alternative travel options to encourage less car use."

The future of residents' parking zones is less clear, however, after the consultation responses revealed that 39 per cent of residents and 31 per cent of businesses were in favour, but 44 per cent of residents and 43 per cent of businesses were opposed to the scheme.

It has subsequently been recommended that as there is an "insufficient consensus" from both residents and local representatives on an agreed approach, local council candidates should consult further during their canvassing ahead of the local elections. The newly elected Cornwall councillors should then look again at the matter and agree a way forward.

News of these decisions came in the same week that Cornwall Council announced it was going to freeze charges in its car parks for the second consecutive year.

The decisions have been welcomed locally. Richard Wilcox, Falmouth BID manager, said: “We are delighted that on-street parking plans have been shelved by Cornwall Council. This is once again an excellent example of Falmouth’s community pulling together to make sure their views have been acted upon.

"Residents expressed their opinions very clearly as did our business sector, who supported the Town Team’s substantial lobbying efforts. Falmouth is a proactive, award-winning town and we must continue to do everything we can to keep it that way by welcoming our visitors, supporting our traders and listening to our residents.”

Town manager, Richard Gates, added: "It is good news to see that prices have been held for the forthcoming year. With on street car parking charging now not taking place and updated pay machines being installed in the future this is certainly a positive step for the town. Car parking prices are already high so removing the increases is a welcome step for Falmouth.”

Penryn Councillor Mary May said: "The residents of Penryn got up a petition and sent in their responses informing the panel they didn’t want on street pay and display, thankfully the parking review panel has listened to them.

"Some residents had requested parking permits in Saracen but the panel at the moment have rejected this as there wasn’t enough support. I have supported their views along with Cllr Tony Martin, we are both very happy with the outcome."