The Penrith Parking and Movement Study is a collaborative project between Cumbria County Council, Eden District Council and Penrith Town Council, which is now progressing to the next stage of preparation.
The Penrith Parking and Movement Study is designed to improve parking in Penrith whilst seeking to enhance walking and cycling provision between car parks and the town centre, employment areas and the rail and bus stations.
The study began in November 2019 by collecting information to understand the usage of off-street car parks and to assess the demand for, and use of, on-street parking provision.
In addition, face to face surveys were undertaken with people using Penrith’s car parks, and views from a wide range of stakeholders on existing parking and movement issues in the town were captured through an online survey.
A workshop was held in January 2020, which provided further opportunity for stakeholders to input into the study. This provided the project team with more detailed feedback on the main parking and movement issues in Penrith and to understand stakeholders’ views on potential solutions to address these issues.
The feedback from the surveys, and the review of the collected information, provides a comprehensive assessment of the current situation in Penrith and the basis to consider the variety of potential improvements required to deal with the identified issues.
A further workshop was scheduled for March 2020, but due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, this exercise was carried out remotely, with stakeholders providing their feedback via an online survey.
The delivery of any of the proposed improvements identified through the preparation of the study is subject to funding being secured. However, by ensuring the development of improvement options is based on a robust assessment of the current situation, and the improvement options are appraised and sifted through a defined methodology, will help to build a stronger case when applying for funding to deliver ach improvement.
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 accessibility and attractiveness of the town, an improved parking offer is required. In recognition of this Cumbria County Council, Eden District Council and Penrith Town Council agreed to continue with the preparation of the study during the current COVID-19 restrictions to help support the town’s economic recovery.
Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “The workshops and online engagement have helped us to understand what is needed for Penrith to ensure that it remains a vibrant town into the future.
“Partners are gathering 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 going forward. My thanks to all involved in contributing to the study so far – it is vital to understand the needs and views of stakeholders to ensure we develop improvements that will have the greatest impact.”
Findings from the study will be available to the public in Autumn 2020.