A BARRIER operated parking system is to be installed at St Paul’s Square car park in Ramsey to ensure shoppers can always get a park.
The system – similar to that installed at Shaw’s Brow in Douglas and the one at the airport – will allow for two hours’ free parking during the normal working day (9am-5pm). Longer than this will incur a charge.
It will still be free to residents who park there overnight.
Abbey Properties owns the retail car park. Its director David Humbles said: ‘St Paul’s Square is the only 100 per cent full shopping precinct in Europe ... It’s really successful because shoppers can always park and park free of charge.’
But he explained that motorists aiming to escape traffic wardens were coming and parking there for free. In addition, motorists use the car park to leave their vehicle while attending events at the church – all meaning that people are parking who aren’t necessarily shopping.
The new barrier operated parking system will come in in the spring.
‘Really it’s to keep the shops and retail centre of the town active, so people can shop when they want to. [We’re] trying to protect the nice, vibrant shopping centre here people like to use and keep parking simple and parking [overnight] free to residents,’ he said.
Traders themselves park their vehicles in spaces allocated to them by College Street.
Meanwhile, shoppers parking in Ramsey’s main street could gain more time if a proposal to increase the parking limit from one to two hours is successful.
A proposal from Ramsey Chamber of Commerce that disc parking in Parliament Street be extended to two hours received the support of Ramsey Town Commissioners. As the Department of Infrastructure, however, is responsible for road traffic orders, the commissioners have asked for the matter to go on the agenda at the next traffic liaison meeting, which is attended by department, commissioners and police representatives.
Commissioners’ clerk Peter Whiteway said: ‘The commissioners are supporting it as a proposal and passed it on to the department to go forward. Whether they support it – it’s ultimately their decision.’
The change would rationalise disc parking times.
Currently disc parking in West Quay, Market Place and Parliament Square is two hours, whereas in Parliament Street it’s only an hour at a time.
Changes may also be made to define parking spaces in Queen’s Promenade, in Ramsey, after concerns about traffic parking on the footpath. This too is up for discussion at the next traffic liaison meeting.
The Department of Infrastructure brought the matter to the attention of the commissioners after receiving complaints from residents. The department proposes to formalise the parking arrangements at this location to create more width for parking and may possibly re-align the benches.