Penrith is a busy market town offering a variety of services and facilities to a wide rural catchment as well as to visitors to the area, and in order to maintain the attractiveness of the town, there is need to ensure that its parking offer meets the needs of everyone
Comments made during Penrith Town Council’s Neighbourhood Plan Consultations and Eden District Council’s Masterplan engagement identified parking as a major issue for people who live and work in Penrith as well as visitors to the town.
In recognition of this Cumbria County Council, Eden District Council and Penrith Town Council have joined together to fund a study to identify options to improve parking in Penrith and to ensure good walking and cycling connectivity from car parking areas to the town centre, employment areas and the rail and bus stations.
The first stage of the study began in November and involved collecting information to confirm the usage of off-street car parks and assessment of on-street parking provision. In addition, face to face surveys from a random sample of car park users in Penrith were undertaken and businesses contacted to find out their opinions on parking in the local area.
To add to the information already gathered, a workshop will be held in early January for invited stakeholders from local businesses and residents groups to better understand what currently works well for them and what they would like to see improved. A follow up workshop with stakeholders will be held later in March to discuss possible improvements for the town.
A spokesperson on behalf of the funding partners said: “The workshops and surveys will help us to understand what is needed for Penrith to ensure that it remains a vibrant town into the future.
“Following the completion of the study, partners will have robust evidence outlining what improvements are required and this will enable them to be in a stronger position to seek funding to support the delivery of the identified improvements.”
Findings from the study will be made publicly available in the summer.