Penrith – parking improvements update

The Penrith Parking and Movement Study (PPMS) is a collaborative project between Cumbria County Council, Eden District Council and Penrith Town Council, which welcomes progress and improvements to parking in Penrith.

The PPMS is designed to improve parking in Penrith whilst seeking to enhance walking and cycling provisions between car parks and the town centre, employment areas and the rail and bus stations.

The study began in November 2019 by collecting information to understand the usage of off-street car parks and to assess the demand for, and use of, on-street parking provision. It also implemented consultations with residents and businesses.

Following consultations, the PPMS proposed eight packages of improvements:

Package 1: Additional Parking Capacity
Package 2: Long Stay Parking in Penrith
Package 3: Town Centre Parking
Package 4: On-street Parking (Residential)
Package 5: Penrith Town Centre Improvements
Package 6: Addressing Nuisance Parking
Package 7: Cycling and Walking Connectivity Improvements
Package 8: Travel Demand and Technology Improvements

So far, the PPMS has been successful with the following schemes:

  • Portland Place – removing a pinch point where two-way traffic movements and junction turning manoeuvres were restricted, subsequently raising road safety issues in the immediate vicinity of the Portland Place junction with the A6 Stricklandgate.
  • A6/ Inglewood Road / Salkeld Road - the junction at Inglewood Road / Salkeld Road was improved so that traffic could access the junction easier, and pedestrians could cross the area safely. A new footway at the junction reduced the speed of vehicles turning left into Salkeld Road from the A6 Scotland Road.
  • Long Stay Parking in Penrith
    As part of the package to review season tickets, permit holders and tariffs in car parks, Eden District Council now welcomes pay by phone in their car parks and are actively promoting their current car parking offers in Penrith. Cumbria County Council are also working to improve parking signage around the town.
  • Engaging with the public about Corney Place
    Residents and businesses have been invited to drop-in sessions, where plans have been displayed about the proposed improvements for Corney Place. This scheme will increase pedestrian space, create a pedestrian crossing and enhance the public realm as a gateway into the town centre. As a result of this pedestrian improvement will mean that Corney Place will be one-way southbound.

The next plans are:

  • Town centre parking and on street parking– Cumbria County Council will be engaging in some consultations with the public. This will see subsequent adjustments to the existing on-street parking policy to ensure that on-street parking is better utilised across Penrith.
  • Continue to address nuisance parking – regular and continued parking enforcement at Castletown and on the Gilwilly Industrial Estate. Reduction in the volume of parking around the Wetheriggs Lane area, to improve the operational safety of the highway.
  • Cycling and Walking Connectivity Improvements – the Penrith Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure plan has been submitted to Eden Local Committee for endorsement, and the schemes will be launched soon. This includes connectivity improvements for walkers and cyclists between the railway station, the town centre and car parks around Penrith
  • Travel Demand and Technology Improvements – Eden District Council is currently working on the delivery of Electric Vehicle Charging points at Penrith Leisure centre and Drovers Lane car parks.

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said:

“Penrith is a busy market town offering a variety of services and facilities to a wide rural catchment as well as to visitors to the area.

“In order to maintain the accessibility and attractiveness of the town, an improved parking offer is required.

“I am delighted that we have been able to facilitate some improvements already and look forward to seeing what happens next in Penrith.

“I would like to thank colleagues at Eden District Council and Penrith Town Council, for working relentlessly to push these plans forward, which has had its challenges.

“I would also like to thank the Penrith community for their patience and support so far and assure them there are lots more improvements planned.”

Cllr Charlie Shepherd, Chair of Penrith Town Council and Mayor of Penrith, said:

“We look forward to working with our partners in developing the ideas and plans put forward from the Parking and Movement Study including the LCWIP for the benefits of residents in Penrith.”

Councillor Mike Tonkin, Services Portfolio Holder at Eden District Council, added:

“Our research with the Penrith Parking and Movement study continues to make progress and we are receiving some really good feedback from the local community.

“This feedback will be used to determine what the future of parking in Penrith might look like, as well as enhance walking and cycling provision between car parks and the town centre, employment areas and the rail and bus stations.”