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 declined by the council.  

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 changes went ahead would potentially necessitate a ‘business review’ of the contract.  

The request from the resident comes amid a petition calling on the Council to allow an hour’s 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, Bodmin Town Council sent an enquiry to Premier Parking Solutions to assess and ascertain whether such a request was feasible.  

In a response to Bodmin Town Council, Premier Parking Solutions told the council that parking fines during the times of the school run were ‘simply not an issue’. 

They said only 22 penalty notices had been issued during the school pick up time, adding that some of those could be vehicles unrelated to those dropping off and collecting children from the primary school.  

The operator added 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, as the one-hour parking tariff is the most used by drivers using the facility, and would have a further impact on the two-hour tariff.  

In an email to Bodmin Town Council, a representative of Premier Parking Solutions said: “All in all, after our discussions we advise that parking fines during school run time 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 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.” 

In response to the letter, Cllr Liz Ahearn said: “I want it noted that it is only St Petroc’s that have access of a facility of that size, there is no other school which has (an adjacent car park opposite).  For those parents, it is a case of drive in, and drive out again, or the school encourages a walking train. Personally, speaking from when I’ve collected the grandkids, 30 minutes is more than enough time.” 

Cllr 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 3.30 pm, owing to reports of queues leaving the car park.  

Cllr Jeremy Cooper added: “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 Bodmin Town Council to look again at the request from the resident when the five-year contract with Premier Parking Solutions comes up for tender, and potentially look at including it in the next contract, which is set to expire at the end of May 2028.