IMPROVED on-street parking is being introduced to help town centres and communities in Staffordshire.
The move follows consultation with district and borough councils, after Staffordshire County Council agreed the broad strategy in 2015.
Helen Fisher, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “We’re introducing a strategy designed to improve the turnover of on-street parking spaces in town centres, market towns and village high streets, which will help local businesses and make enforcement easier for us.
“We will be working with each community to introduce a policy that meets local needs.
“That might mean free parking at certain times, or variable charges, to promote local businesses so that people who want to pop in and out rather than use long stay car parks will be able to find somewhere quicker without cruising round and causing congestion.”
Work will begin in the next financial year and continue beyond 2022.
Although originally approved several years ago, implementation of proposals will be scrutinised by an all-party group of councillors before work begins.
Helen Fisher said: “A predominantly rural community like Staffordshire is still going to be reliant on the car for many years to come, so it’s essential to develop a strategy that balances the use of short-stay on-street parking and long-term car parks on the edge of town centres.
“Providing the right amount of on-street parking with flexible charging regimes will encourage use of the High Street, improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and improve access for disabled motorists.
“But at the same time we must strike a balance with creating a good quality of life for residents, and encouraging pedestrians and cyclists, as well as promoting use of public transport.”
Potential initial locations include Stafford, Lichfield, Stone, Cannock, Leek, Cheadle, Biddulph and Uttoxeter.
Money generated by the scheme will be reinvested in public highways.
The details will be considered at a meeting of the Prosperous Staffordshire scrutiny committee on January 18th.