Shropshire council is committed to supporting the ‘modal shift’ of travel towards public transport and active travel for both environmental and social inclusion reasons.
2022 will see the emergence of significant new policies in this area: a Local Transport Strategy and a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan. Even with these in place, attracting funding for projects for active and public transport will remain a challenge. Progressing projects will be made much more possible should the council show commitment by raising dedicated capital funds for such investment, either to fully fund some projects or for part funding with investment from elsewhere. This would show similar commitment to sustainable transport as that shown to commercial investment through the continued but unallocated £3.4m Commercial Investment Programme fund, and to highways maintenance through the new Highways Investment fund.
It is appropriate that as active and public travel options are improved, disincentives for public transport use are reduced including the relative cheapness of town centre parking compared to bus travel.
Council therefore agrees to create a revenue stream to finance borrowing for an Active Travel and Public Transport Infrastructure Investment Fund by changing the charging band for two Shrewsbury Car Parks. This will realise an expected income of £253,000 per year, which will be used to establish the new Fund with an initial input of £4.6m.
Detail: Move Frankwell Main, Riverside & Quay Car Parks in Shrewsbury from Band 4 to Band 3, bringing them in line with St Julian’s Friars which is only marginally closer to town centre facilities. Move Abbey Foregate Car Park in Shrewsbury from Band 5 to Band 4, retaining it as the cheapest outside-the-loop parking option. Use the additional income for appropriate borrowing, the resulting expected capital of £4.7m to be used to establish said new fund.