Parking charge hike labelled ‘disgusting’

A PLAN to hike city-centre parking charges has been slammed by Observer readers.

Members of Chichester District Council’s cabinet are set to debate increased charges in coastal car parks and the city centre.

Under the proposals, city-centre parking charges would increase by five per cent. Car parks in Bosham, Selsey, The Witterings and Bracklesham would also see parking charges increase.

However, Midhurst and Petworth charges will remain unchanged and there would still be a potential annual shortfall of £37,880 in rural car parks.

“The council is seeking to recover the full costs of its rural car parks through its charges and to increase the charges of the city-centre car parks to cover inflation, the possibility of covering the costs of public conveniences and future infrastructure costs,” said officer Kenrick Garraway in his report to cabinet.

Officers have also recommended tariffs for five, six and eight hours are introduced, as well as a 20-minute charge.

Season ticket charges would remain the same.

Mr Garraway said for ‘several reasons’ fewer people might use the car parks, decreasing the council’s income. “If there is any reduction, appropriate action must be taken to overcome the situation, such as an increase in advertising and promotions,” he said.

Reacting to the news on the Observer’s Facebook page, Wayne Humphrey said: “Disgusting, it will cost more than shopping soon.”

He said, as a small business owner, increased parking charges during visits to city-centre banks was just another cost on top of rising bills.

Katie Payne, also commenting on the Facebook page, said: “I think it is ridiculous. In Bognor you can park for two hours for 30p, how do they justify these charges, just because it is a city?”

Other readers said increased charges might put them off visiting the city and questioned whether further increases were needed given recent charge changes.

Commenting on social networking site Twitter, @denwsussex said: “They should take a pay cut instead, or else pay the extra out of their large expenses.”

Councillors will debate the charge increases at a cabinet meeting at East Pallant House, from 9.30am on Tuesday.