Car park charges
To support our retailers as the large number reopened on Monday, car parks charges were reintroduced in our shoppers car parks.
Councillor Neil Dallen, Chair of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee said “Our car park charges support local retailers, ensuring that there is a good turnaround of spaces for visitors and shoppers. We also need to discourage London bound commuters leaving their cars in our retail car parks all day, effectively blocking their use for those using local businesses.
“Public health and safety is a priority and we have taken steps to allow for social distancing within the car parks. We advise people to follow the social distancing guidelines at all times and make use of the convenient cash free and contactless payment methods available".
Charges for the majority of council car parks were suspended at the start of April to allow people over the past two months to make essential journeys and ensure there was free parking available for key workers.
Free parking will continue to be available to NHS staff, care workers and NHS volunteer responders involved in the Covid-19 response in the council’s pay and display car parks. A key worker parking pass, which can be issued by their employer, will allow them to park for free when a permit is displayed within their vehicle.
Local authorities have to cover their costs in relation to car parks. Maintenance, management and long-term investment in the quality of car park is important. Car parks also attract business rates set at government levels, which must be paid.
The decision to reintroduce the charges is in line with national guidance and is consistent with the approach taken by other councils that suspended payment within the county.
Councillor Dallen added: "Parking charges are an important source of revenue for the council. Income from parking charges goes towards the upkeep of car parks, the introduction of more efficient and user friendly payment methods as well as new safety measures for car park users.
“Like many organisations, our funding has been severely affected by Covid-19 and we are working hard to ensure we have the resources to continue to provide the essential services on which our communities rely”.