Sunday parking charges likely in Chichester

Sunday charges will be introduced in Chichester city centre car parks but the idea of evening charges will be dropped, if the district council goes along with recommendations agreed by its cabinet.

The council is also being asked to refuse a request from the Festival Theatre for the introduction of evening charges at the Northgate car park, with the money going to help the theatre.

Cabinet members took a straight decision – which does not need council approval – to implement a general increase in city parking charges, which will see the charge increase by, for example, 10p for the first hour in both the long stay and short stay tariff car parks.

Subject to further consideration, the extra income could be used to cover the cost of retaining the car park CCTV system.

Charges for season tickets will remain unchanged, to help commuters and workers.

Both Sunday and evening car park charges faced strong opposition from the city council, at its meeting the night before the cabinet debate.

City councillors approved a resolution declaring these would have a detrimental effect on the economy and well-being of the city.

Mover Cllr Richard Plowman condemned them as ‘appalling.’

The cabinet was also told the Chamber of Commerce was ‘vehemently’ against Sunday charges.

Cllr Myles Cullen said at the cabinet meeting that there had been no increase in city car park charges for four years.

Comparisons with other areas showed people got a good deal using them, and only a ‘nominal’ increase was proposed to meet these very stringent times.

He also felt it was right the cabinet was recommending the introduction of Sunday charges, but he was not in favour of evening charges.

Speaking against the theatre proposal, Cllr Tricia Tull said the council itself would neither gain nor lose from this, and it would be very complicated.

“If the Festival Theatre is that desperate, it should think of a different way of raising funds,” she added.

The cabinet supported proposals for the introduction of franchised services in the car parks, to include car washing and valeting, windscreen repairs, advertising and exhibitions.

It gave approval in principle to the idea of introducing pay on exist at the Avenue de Chartres car park, and there was a decision not to undertake further work on the possible introduction of charging for blue badge holders.