A REQUEST by a resident for Bodmin Town Council to increase the amount of free parking it offers in its Priory Car Park to an hour has been turned down.  

It comes after Premier Parking Solutions (PPS), which manages the car park under a five-year contract with the council, said that the revenue which would be lost if the change went ahead would potentially necessitate a review of the contract.  

The request from the resident coincides with a petition calling on the council to allow an hour’s free parking, with claims that multiple parents have received parking tickets while collecting their children from St Petroc’s C of E Primary School.  

After the correspondence from the resident, the council sent an enquiry to Premier Parking Solutions to see whether such a request was feasible.  

In a response, Premier Parking Solutions told the council that parking fines during the times of the school run were “simply not an issue”. 

The company said that only 22 penalty notices had been issued during the school run times, adding that some of those could be vehicles unrelated to those dropping off and collecting children.  

The operator said that were the council to extend the “grace time” from 30 minutes to one hour, it would be at a loss of at least £25,000 a year in revenue, because the one-hour parking tariff is the most used by drivers, and it would have a further impact on the two-hour tariff.  

Premier Parking Solutions said: “All in all, after our discussions, we advise that parking fines during school run times is simply not an issue. We have issued 22 charges during the school time hours since the start of the contract and it is possible that some of these are vehicles unrelated to the school drop-off, further providing evidence of there being no issue.  

“If this [the idea of having an hour’s free parking] was scoped, it would require a business review. 

“In our experience, the council’s offering of 30 minutes’ free parking is generous, and the amount of time needed for a school drop-off and pick-up on a site like this is adequate.” 

Councillor Karen Philips enquired as to whether it would be possible to ask Premier Parking Solutions to allow a grace if someone is “picked up on the radar” at 3.30pm, owing to reports of queues leaving the car park.  

Councillor Jeremy Cooper said: “The cost to the council and the wider community, whose children don’t go to St Petroc’s, in allowing an hour’s free parking, as well as having to renegotiate the contract, means it’s prohibitively expensive. 

“Is this something we can review and resubmit for when the parking contract comes up for renewal?” 

It was agreed by the council to look again at the request from the resident when the five-year contract expires in 2028.