Hatfield parking FAQs

Answers to common questions regarding proposed changes to Hatfield parking.

The Cabinet report setting out proposals can be viewed online.

Questions

1) Why are you building a multi-storey? Is it really needed?

2) How much will the multi-storey cost per year to run?

3) Isn't it a waste of money?

4) You say the multi storey is part funded by a £4.8m contribution from the LEP but what is the total cost of the build and where is that money coming from?

5) Why are you not proposing to keep long stay parking free?

6) Will it be pay and display?

7) Will there be a charge for the electric charging points?

8) Why are you proposing to increase the price of season tickets for workers?

9) Who would be eligible to buy a season ticket?

10) What about local NHS workers?

11) Do you have evidence to support your claim that commuters are using the current town centre car parks? What percentage of long stay parking is taken up by commuter parking?

12) You say charging for long stay is to deter commuters, why then have you included Saturday and not just the working week, Monday-Friday?

13) By consolidating parking in this one location, won't this create parking congestion on other resident roads across the town?

14) How do these proposed parking costs compare with the rest of Hertfordshire?

15) How will these long stay charges help town centre retail which is already extremely fragile?

16) Why are you proposing more commercial units in regeneration plans when there are already so many shops closing?

Answers

Q1 Answer.

The multi-storey is needed if we are going to deliver the town centre transformation residents want to see. With surface level car parking currently spread across town, it will allow us to consolidate car parking and release land for redevelopment into new homes, shops and leisure.

The multi-storey is part of the Hatfield Renewal Partnership proposals - a partnership of key local authorities, landowners and educational institutions who came together to develop a shared vision and plan for the town's long-term regeneration. You can read more about the wider plans for the Hatfield 2030+ project here.

Question 2 Answer.

The running cost is estimated to be £190k per year. The income generated by our proposals is estimated at £178k. The multi-storey would therefore require a £12k subsidy from the council.

Question 3 Answer.

The build costs of the multi-storey are part-funded by a £4.8m contribution from the Local Enterprise Partnership, recognising the part it will play in wider regeneration. These wider plans will boost the local economy, helping us attract a better mix of new shops and businesses by making the town centre a busier, more vibrant place to spend time.

Question 4 Answer.

The total budget for the build is £6m. The remaining £1.2m is being funded from the council's capital projects budget.

Question 5 Answer.

We are concerned this would encourage commuters and other car users who aren't visiting town centre shops and businesses to park all day - reducing the availability of space for shoppers. We also need to help fund the running costs of the multi-storey, which will act as the catalyst for redevelopment to secure the town's future prosperity. Coupled with a recent parking survey revealing that 70% of shoppers require parking for under three hours, we feel the charging option is best introduced for extended stays.

Question 6 Answer.

Yes. Parking machines will be located on each floor and payment would be via card/cash at the machines or online and via the Payphone app.

Question 7 Answer.

There will be a charge for the use of the EV points and users will be able to download and use the Electric Blue charging app for free.

Question 8 Answer.

The business permits as currently priced are heavily subsidised. We are proposing to increase the price to £200 per year - which works out at approximately 70p per day for local workers to park in the town centre. The council would still be subsidising season tickets at this price. We are also proposing an option for season tickets to be purchased on a quarterly basis for £50.

Question 9 Answer.

Local workers and town centre residents are eligible, and proof of address would be required.

Question 10 Answer.

The government has introduced a coronavirus Covid-19 Parking Pass for NHS front line staff, health and social care workers and NHS volunteers. Passes are available through employers. We will review the situation should that change.

Question 11 Answer.

The time limit restrictions currently prevent commuters parking in the town centre. However, businesses have asked for more flexible long stay options. Therefore, charging for a longer stay addresses businesses' concerns whilst preventing the misuse of the cark park by those not visiting the town.

Question 12 Answer.

Saturday is the busiest shopping day, when the well-managed turnover of space is most essential. That is why we are proposing to include Saturdays, which will be consulted on as part of the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process. Many businesses wanted their customers to be able to extend their stays, so it was important to introduce a long stay option which isn't possible now under the current restrictions.

Question 13 Answer.

This is partly why we have introduced resident parking schemes in surrounding residential roads to stop any town centre parking displacement. We've also conducted transport assessments as part of the multi-storey planning application. This concluded that there would be no adverse impacts on surrounding areas.

Question 14 Answer.

Hatfield remains the cheapesttown centre for parking in Hertfordshire - no other town centre offers free parking for three hours in car parks. The Hatfield train station, Galleria and Parkhouse Court all charge for parking.

Question 15 Answer.

Parking will remain free for three hours to suit the needs of most shoppers. The charges will also help fund the running costs of the multi-storey, which is unlocking the land we need to build new homes and drive more footfall to local shops and businesses.

Question 16 Answer.

We too are really disappointed to have seen a small number of shops leave the town centre recently and hope new exciting retailers will move in soon. Despite these changes, occupancy rates remain high. With regeneration plans well underway, we are confident new commercial units will add to the future vibrancy of the town. The new buildings are designed with the changing landscape of town centres in mind, including flexible ground floors to suit a wide range of commercial or leisure uses.