THE COST of a car parking season ticket in Chichester will rise from April, after four years stuck in neutral.
The move was one of many increases ratified by cabinet on Tuesday (February 4), as sweeping hikes across the district will see an acceleration of income for Chichester District Council.
“For daily users our charges remain among the lowest in the area,” cabinet member for commercial services Myles Cullen told his fellow councillors at the meeting.
“We’ve also introduced a new short period of 30 minutes.
“We feel that’s a lot more practical for people and we feel that will cause a benefit to users.”
However, his report included the reversing of the council’s previous policy towards long-term users.
“Season tickets had not been increased in four years – you can see we’ve had to go for an increase there,” he said.
Currently, the cost of a year-long season ticket for Market Avenue/South Pallant, Market Road and Orchard Street car parks stands at £460, however from April this will increase to £564, reduced to £552 if paid by direct debit.
One-month season tickets in the same car parks will now cost £47, or £46 if paid by direct debit, which is an increase on £38.33.
In the 2013/14 year, the district council’s budget was fuelled by more than £3m from its car parks throughout the district, with a similar amount budgeted for the new financial year from April.
Cllr Cullen said the council had conducted ‘appropriate engagement’ with consultees, including Chichester City Council, Sussex Police, East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish Council and Selsey Business Partnership on the changes.
The report he presented to cabinet said the price rises were to generate an additional £90,000 of annual income for the council.
In Selsey, the East Street car park will see its free period of one hour scrapped and replaced with 20p payment for two hours.
However, this has sparked controversy, as the nearby Budgens car park is free.
District councillor for Selsey, Carol Purnell warned the car park’s future could stall if the situation continued.
“All the while we have a free car park there, you’re not going to get the money out of the other one,” she told the cabinet.
“We really have a huge problem there. Until we get this resolved, the East Street car park is always going to run at a loss.”
Commuters and shoppers across the district are now gearing up for the changes in price, which now they have the green light are set to come into effect from April 1.