TAUNTON Deane Borough Council is planning to invest £1.2million in significant improvements to its car parks and signage.
The Council is committed to introducing Variable Message Signing (VMS) to help drivers find car parks and know how many spaces are available and the type of parking – short stay, long stay and commuter.
There are also proposals to change – initially – seven key car parks to pay on exit from pay and display to make life easier for drivers using the spaces. It is hoped that the changes will be introduced within 12-18 months.
The seven car parks due to change to pay on exit are Orchard, High Street, Tangier, Canon Street, Wood Street, Castle Street and Enfield.
The VMS systems will help drivers choose the type of parking they need and avoid them having to drive around to find a suitable space. It should also ease queuing and reduce congestion.
The Borough Council is working closely with Somerset County Council on the scheme and has the support of many local businesses who have been pressing for modernisation and improvements.
The electronic signs would be installed at key locations such as Priorswood Road, Cross Keys, Toneway, East Reach, Silk Mills and Wellington Road.
The costs of the scheme include the signs, changes to the selected car parks and the high tech electronic systems needed.
Cllr Roger Habgood, Executive Cllr for transport and parking, said: “The introduction of VMS will really improve the flow of traffic and help drivers find the space they need quickly and efficiently.
“Similar systems operate in cities across the country and I am pleased that Taunton Deane is planning such a significant investment. Pay on exit has also proved popular elsewhere as it removes the time pressure on motorists using our car parks.
“This is part and parcel of our belief in the regeneration of Taunton town centre by providing the necessary infrastructure.” The Council’s Executive agreed the proposals last night and will recommend Full Council to confirm the decision.