Proposed changes to car park charges will be consulted on

Leading councillors at Chichester District Council are proposing some minor changes to car parking charges after a two year freeze on pay and display prices.

Cabinet members agreed on Tuesday that some of the tariffs should be slightly increased, while others should be reduced, and that these new prices should be fixed for two years.

The new pricing structure, which will now be consulted on, aims to make things simpler for the customer, help deal with capacity issues at some sites and to help cover the direct costs of operating the car parks as well as supporting the whole range of council services.

The changes have been put forward as part of the annual review of parking charges. The review is carried out by the Chichester District Parking Forum which is made up of residents, disability groups and business representatives from across the area.

"We are suggesting that some tariffs are slightly increased, some remain the same and that others go down. Our rural towns will still benefit from between one or two hours of free parking and we are suggesting that free parking is continued at the Sylvia Beaufoy car park in Petworth and the Crossfield car park in Fernhurst," says Councillor Tony Dignum, Leader of Chichester District Council.

"Reviewing and amending our charges is important for a number of reasons. They help to pay for the upkeep, running, management and maintenance of our car parks. This means that the user is paying for this, rather than all taxpayers. Also, they help to control the flow of cars entering and exiting the car parks. This is really important to businesses, because if spaces are blocked for the whole day it prevents new customers from being able to park, to shop or use the local facilities.   Also at times, demand is higher in certain car parks and so we believe that these proposals will be able to better balance the use of our car parks.

"We regularly monitor how our car parks are being used and compare our prices to neighbouring authorities to make sure that we are offering competitive rates. The options debated by the Parking Forum are intended to help maximise the use of car parking space across the district and alleviate pressure on those sites where there is greater demand for spaces.

"Making it easier to park and responding to the needs of our customers is a top priority. This year, we have already introduced a series of improvements, including introducing Mi Permit, which allows people to pay for parking using their mobile phone or app wherever they are in the district. This has been very popular because people can add additional time to their parking and so they don't have to worry about rushing back. Customers have also welcomed the ability to pay for parking using their credit or debit card, including the option of contactless payment, at the majority of our city centre car park machines. We hope to build on this work over the next year by focusing on improvements in our rural car parks."

Proposals include:

  • for the Sylvia Beaufoy car park in Petworth and the Crossfield Fernhurst car park to remain free of charge.
  • for long stay charges between four and six hour stays to be reduced.
  • an increase of 10 pence per hour for up to two hours' stay in long stay car parks.
  • for the two hour short stay tariff in the city to remain unchanged. This is the most popular tariff in the city.
  • to increase the short stay car park tariff in the city by 10 pence for up to one hour and increase rates for over two hours by 10%.
  • to bring the Avenue de Chartres car park tariff in line with the other long stay car parks.
  • Sunday parking in the rural towns to remain free where there is currently no charge.
  • the free period of parking currently in place within the rural car parks to remain unchanged.
  • to make some minor changes to tariffs and charging periods in rural and coastal car parks so that charges are consistent across the towns.
  • for no changes to be made to Bosham car park tariffs.
  • for specific season tickets to cost around £20.80 a week, season tickets for the long stay car parks costing only £12.70 a week, and a season ticket for the Avenue de Chartres car park costing only £10.85 a week. All season tickets will continue to cover all seven days of the week. These represent a significant saving on the daily tariff.  Financial incentives would be introduced to encourage customers to buy season tickets for a longer period of time.
  • for rural areas the cost of a season ticket would amount to £3.46 per week, with a Bosham season ticket priced at £4.04 per week.
  • the majority of car parks (with the exception of Northgate and New Park Road) would remain free of charge after 6pm.
  • to continue to charge until 8pm between Monday and Saturday at Northgate and New Park Road car parks in Chichester.
  • to alter the parking machines so that customers are provided with extra time for any cash overpayments made.
  • to add Florence Road car park in Chichester to the parking order so that spaces can be better controlled. However, this car park will remain free of charge.
  • for the Sunday charges in the long stay Chichester city car parks to remain the same.

A full list of the proposed changes can be viewed here where both the committee report and minutes can be viewed. The process for consultation will be advertised in the local press and affected car parks in the coming weeks.  

The cabinet also agreed to adopt Regulation 10 of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Directions 2007. This enables local authorities to serve a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) by post when drivers are abusive or drive away before they can be issued with a PCN.

Date of Release: 7 November 2017                       

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