Car parking charges to increase in Chichester

CHANGES in Chichester District Council’s city car parks come into effect from Sunday, April 1.

Following a four-year price freeze, hourly charges will go up to cover the cost of retaining the district’s CCTV system.

“This will mean, for example, an increase of 10p for the first hour in both the long stay and short stay tariff car parks,” said a council spokesman.

A charge of £1 for four hours and £2 to stay for the whole day on Sundays in long stay car parks will also be introduced, which include around 70 per cent of the city’s car parking spaces. Spaces in the city’s short stay car parks will charge the standard current tariff.

Charges will apply from 10am to 5pm. However, season tickets will be extended to cover seven days a week at no extra cost. “This is to assist commuters and workers who use our car parks every day,” said the spokesman.

“The changes are only for Chichester city centre car parks owned by the district council. They do not include any of the rural car parks, where prices will remain at the current levels until April 1, 2013, when the matter will be reviewed.

“Chichester is not the first authority locally to introduce Sunday charges. At present, Worthing, Adur and Arun all charge on Sundays, as does Havant, Portsmouth and Southampton.”

Cllr John Connor said there were huge pressures on the council budget, and by introducing charges they were helping to protect and maintain essential services in the district.

“We want to help local workers during these tough economic times and this is why we have frozen season ticket prices and extended it to cover seven days,” added the council cabinet member for the environment. “We have not raised the hourly tariffs in Chichester city centre car parks for four years. Due to rising inflation and the need to cover the cost of our CCTV service, we have introduced modest increases to the hourly rates in Chichester’s city centre car parks. Although we are introducing charges on a Sunday, [some] visitors will only pay £1 for four hours and £2 for the day.”