Emergency Services Staff To Face Car Parking Charges Under New Proposals In Kendal

Medics, the police and other emergency service personnel in Kendal may now have to pay to park their car when driving to work.

Proposals to turn a ‘free’ carpark behind Country Hall in Busher Walk, Kendal, into a pay-and-display one have also been extended to include a smaller staff car park that is used by the emergency services.

Cumbria County Council – who own the carpark – have made plans to introduce pay and display parking machines in both the public carpark and the staff one.

One member of emergency services staff, who wished to remain anonymous, told the West Morland Gazette it would be a “hard pill to swallow”.

“With hospital staff now having to pay to park, we’re the next in line,” he said.

“We were all upset and gutted when we found out.

“We don’t want special treatment, but it used to be free, and it’s now being forced away from us.”

The emergency service worker said it would cause anguish to staff who worked 12-hour shifts.

“Public transport schemes are poor at the times when our shifts start and end,” he said.

“Many of us carry a large amount of equipment when based at other stations and need to convey this in the car.

“Also, emergency service workers do not often finish on time at the end of their shift, if we are stuck on a job and we cannot get back to move vehicles then that’s us with a ticket.

“It’s just not feasible.”

Suggestions have been made by emergency services staff to avoid the problem, including dedicating a few of the bays just for emergency services personnel.

A spokesperson from CCC told the West Morland Gazette that the car park was “not in a good state” and required repairs including resurfacing and re-lining.

He said:

“We recognise that the introduction of charging for car parking may be unpopular with some as historically this has been free.

“However charging for car parking at County Offices in Kendal will ensure consistency with other council offices located in town centres.”

He added that after the 12-month consultation, which finished on Tuesday, feedback would be reviewed and plans might be amended accordingly if applicable.

Cumbria Police said decisions around the car park’s future sat with CCC as they owned the majority of the land.

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