Night parking fees gave council £40k more than expected

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ks16001181-7 Chi Car Parks phot kate'Northgate car park.ks16001181-7 SUS-160811-192011008

Evening car parking charges have generated £138,000 in income in the first year of being introduced.

The figure, confirmed by Chichester District Council today, is nearly £40,000 more than the £98,500 expected to be brought in by the scheme.

It comes as research suggests Chichester’s High Street is among the most ‘resilient’ in the country.

Extended charging hours to 8pm were brought in at Northgate and New Park Road car parks on April 1 2017 on a one-year trial basis.

But seven months in, district council cabinet members voted to extend the fees indefinitely to co-incide with a general increase in off-street car parking fees from April 1 2018.

An estimate published in the council’s February budget put the predicted yearly income from the evening parking fees much higher after it generated £75,000 in the first six months.

A spokesperson for Chichester District Council said: “Maintaining and improving our car parks is very important, so that we can provide options and services that residents and visitors need and expect.

“Income that is generated by our car parks helps us to deliver this, as well as supporting vital community services.

“Over the past year, the evening parking charges have generated £138,000 (up to April 1).

“Significant investment in our car parks has been made into a wide range of improvements over this time.

“This includes installing new machines across all our car parks so that people can pay using coins, card or contactless and improving the services that people can access via our website.

“We have introduced the Mi Permit system which allows people to pay using a mobile phone or app which allows people to extend their stay rather than rushing back by a specific time.

“We are also currently in the middle of work to re-line bays in our car parks, which will include zoning in our larger car parks.

“Making sure our car parks are safe and accessible is also high on our agenda.

This has been recognised by the British Parking Association, which has awarded all of our car parks in the city and the majority of our rural car parks the British Parking Association Safer Parking Award.

“These improvements have been recognised nationally through the council winning the award for Innovation and New Services by PATROL (Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London) at a ceremony at the House of Commons.”