New arrangements for Park and Ride from 1st June 2018.

Local MBC Councillor Patrik Garten has forwarded a report on the new arrangements for Park and Ride into Maidstone which will become effective as from 1st June 2018 when a parking fee on the Maidstone Park and Ride service will be required be set at £2.50 which will have to be paid using a cashless system. Many Hollingbourne residents use the Willington Street 501 Park and Ride service.

Councillor Garten detailed his views on the changes in his January Newsletter which is at http://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/january-report-from-our-local-mbc-borough-councillor/

The following has been issued by the Maidstone Borough Council Parking Services Manager:

New Park & Ride arrangements from 1st June 2018

The Park and Ride service has been running for many years; however the financial subsidy required to run the service in its current form at around £300,000 per annum places significant pressure on the council.

Maidstone Borough Council conducted a public consultation from 25th August to 22nd October 2017 to look at any potential improvements that could be made to the existing Park and Ride service. The results of this consultation helped officers shape a number of options for the service.

On 22nd January 2018 the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transport Committee decided to retain the service after careful consideration of the options available. However, a new, temporary service model would be adopted for a trial period of only 12 months, during which time Parking Services will monitor and measure its success.

The primary change means that from 1st June 2018 drivers will ‘Pay to Park’ using cashless payment options as opposed to paying on the bus to ‘Pay to Ride’. Operating hours are also being extended to 7pm Monday to Saturday.

The car parks will continue to operate as a cashless ‘Pay to Park’ facility on Sundays.

Item 143: https://meetings.maidstone.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=579&MId=2960

On 10th April 2018 the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transport Committee considered the results of the public consultation carried out in relation to the proposed variation of The Borough of Maidstone (Off-Street Parking Places) (Variation No10) Order 2018, which included the introduction of a £2.50 ‘Pay to Park’ charge per day at the park and ride sites for the driver and up to 5 passengers. It is anticipated that this will increase levels of car sharing and promote the Park and Ride service to a wider community.

During the consultation period, 5 objections were received in relation to the Park & Ride service. By comparison to the number of customers using the service and the strategic reasons for making changes to the Park and Ride service, the Committee agreed that there were no compelling reasons to revise the proposals as advertised.

Item 194: https://meetings.maidstone.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=579&MId=2842

Arriva who have agreed to be our partners during the 12 month trial will assist in monitoring passenger numbers and this will be reported back to Members of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transport Committee in November 2018 after which a decision will be made on how the Park and Ride service will look in the future.

Overview:

• £2.50 flat tariff per car which allows the driver and up to 5 passengers to travel on the bus to and from the town centre. It is anticipated that this will increase levels of car sharing and promote the service to a wider community.

• Cashless car park (no payment on the bus) – Payment via card insertion, contactless card, Apple/Android Pay using the unit in the car park or Smartphone App from RingGo.

• There will be no need to display a ticket in the vehicle – the receipt from the payment machine or proof of RingGo payment will operate as a voucher allowing use of the bus.

• No concessionary passes will be accepted at the park and ride site or on the bus as the new arrangements differ from a commercial bus service where the bus pass concession is normally used.

• Alternate bus services for non-park and ride passengers at London Road would be the 71/72 services which operate from the bus stop about 5/10 minutes away (though customers would still have to pay to park at London Road) or for Willington Street the 9 from Biddenden Close.

• Walkers will be unable to use the bus service as bus travel will only be available to car park customers.

FAQs
Questions and Answers

What is different about the new service? The Park and Ride Service offers an easy and cost effective way to travel for people who live, work or visit the borough from Monday- Saturday.
The service costs £2.50 and allows one vehicle to be parked at either Willington Street or London Road Park and Ride sites with up to 5 passengers to travel on the bus.

When will the service be launched?  1 June 2018

What are the operating hours?
The Park and Ride service operates Monday – Saturday from 6.30am – 7pm.
The car park is also open on Sundays from 6am – 11.59pm

How often will the bus run? Every 20 minutes.

How can I buy my ticket to park and ride? Payment to park can be made in the following ways:
• Contactless Debit/Credit cards
• Card Insertion (no PIN required)
• Apple/Android Pay
• RingGo Smartphone App

Can I still pay for my ticket on the bus? Payment will no longer be taken on the bus. This allows us to reduce loading times during peak hours to provide a more timely and accurate service.
All payment must be completed in advance by using any one of our easy payment methods:
• Contactless Debit/Credit cards
• Card Insertion (no PIN required)
• Apple/Android Pay or by using the RingGo Smartphone App

Can I still buy a season ticket or concessionary ticket? No discounted, concessionary or season ticket is available for this service. A ticket to park must be purchased for £2.50.

How much does it cost to use the RingGo app?
It is free, however if you choose to opt for a text receipt or text reminder it will cost 10p per service.
These costs are optional and can be turned off via the ‘Account’ tab in the app settings.

If I don’t park the car can I still use the service? Our Park and Ride service is aimed at passengers who would ordinarily use their car to travel and park in the centre of Maidstone and not passengers wishing to access the service on foot or by other means of transport.
Our aim is to help ease traffic congestion whilst providing a cost effective alternative to car use.

Webpages: http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/home/primary-services/parking-and-streets/additional-areas/park-And-ride