Over the years, there have been many discussions between South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) and Henley Town Council (HTC) about decking Kings Road car park.
In hindsight, probably the best time to have done this was in 1994 when the new Waitrose and Regal Cinema was being built? There were plans and drawings produced in 2015 and last year it was put back on the Town Council’s Transport Strategy Committee’s agenda to relook at these as well as consideration for double-decking Greys Road car park.
The Kings Road and Greys Road car parks are owned and run by SODC and they receive all the income from them. In 2016/2017 the income was £648,367 and parking over stay tickets (fines) of £57,510.
Chair of the Transport Strategy Committee, Councillor Ken Arlett along with SODC Councillor Lorraine Hillier met with two officers from the SODC car park department on 13 February 2019.
Ken said, “The meeting started by the head officer saying they had no money in the budget to do anything (amazing when the income figures above which came from an Freedom of Information request). The officers put forward reasons that with extra parking this would cause more poor air quality. The town council gave an opposite opinion that if there were extra car parking there would be less fumes as cars could just park rather than go round and round looking for a car park place. At one time HTC stated that we would deal with the planning application, build the decked car park, but in return we would want to take over the car parks, this offer was turned down. When you see the figures above a decked car park would pay for itself within a couple of years.”