Increases to Chichester parking charges given thumbs up

Pay and display parking charges in Chichester will rise for one year from April before being looked at again.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 1:14 pm

A public consultation into the increase attracted only 22 responses – 18 of which were objections – and at a meeting on Tuesday (January 7), members of the district council’s cabinet gave the nod.

The changes will see a three per cent increase – around 30p more for a four-hour stay – while charges at two of the busiest car parks – Little London and Baffins Lane  — will rise from £1.50 per hour to £2 per hour.

Season tickets in the city car parks will remain the same but in rural areas they will rise from £15 to £17.50 per month, and in Bosham from £17.50 to £20 per month.

Free evening parking will be unchanged.

Pay and Display charges have been frozen since 2018 and these increases could swell the council’s coffers by £320,000 by 2022.

A report to the committee said a full review of the prices – and another public consultation – would be held before any more increases were introduced in 2021-22.

Roy Briscoe (Con, Westbourne) said: “We’ve had a few people questioning whether this should go up but we’re talking about 30p on a four-hour stay.

“It’s not a lot – it’s less than 10p an hour.”

Penny Plant, cabinet member for environment, added: “If it wasn’t going to be so unpopular, I would have liked it to be much higher.”

The aim of the changes is to balance how the area’s car parks are used, encouraging drivers to head for the quieter ones,

Martyn Bell, cabinet member for growth, place and regeneration, said: “We regularly monitor how our car parks are being used and compare our prices to neighbouring authorities.

“With these modest changes, we still compare very favourably to other local authority areas in West Sussex for parking.”

He added: “Reviewing and amending our charges is important for a number of reasons.

“We recognise that some car parks are more popular than others, and these changes will help to better balance the use of our car parks.

“Car park charges help to pay for the upkeep, running, management and maintenance of our car parks, and we also recognise that parking charges set at the correct level can help to encourage sustainable forms of transport.

“Car park charges also help to control the flow of cars entering and exiting the car parks.

“This is really important to businesses, because if spaces are blocked for the whole day it prevents new customers from being able to park, to shop or use the local facilities.”