New night time parking charges are on the way at two Chichester car parks after being approved by district council cabinet members today.
Both New Park Road and Northgate car parks will see charging hours extended from 6-8pm, Monday-Saturday, from April 1, initially on a one-year trial.
People using New Park Road will be charged a maximum of £2.60 extra, at Northgate it will be £1.50, after unanimous approval at Tuesday’s meeting.
Season ticket prices are also rising for Basin Road, Cattle Market and Northgate car parks (from £47 per month to £50 per month), as well as at Marine Drive in East Wittering and Selsey and East Street in Selsey.
Cllr Penny Plant said she feared people who use the New Park Community Centre would suffer the most.
She said: “I understand that daytime users are at the moment subsidising the evening usage but I do feel strongly that the increase in New Park Road will actually be penalising evening users.
“Most of the people who use the New Park Road car park are using the community centre, whether it is to go to the cinema or do the classes there. “The fact that the car parks are different types, one is long stay and one is short stay, so these changes will have a different effect.”
Of the 21 responses to the public consultation, four were in favour of the new charges, while there were 17 objections, including from Chichester Festival Theatre and New Park Cinema.
Cllr Roger Barrow said: “The consultation response, in spite of considerable publicity, was very, very small. If there was major concern I think we would have seen more of that in the consultation results.
“The community centre and cinema is also used during the day, not just in the evening, so people who use them in the daytime are paying for their car parking.
“These car parks are not cheap to run or manage, they are very valuable assets, they should be helping us with our finance. “It’s only a year’s trial so we will have a chance to look back and say we made a mistake or this has been a good thing for us.”
However cllr Plant said: “I understand it was extremely difficult to find the consultation on the website so I’m amazed that 21 people found a way of leaving comments.”