Cheltenham, Reading, Leicester, Bristol City, Dover, Thanet, Flintshire, Bournemouth and Brighton and Hove already have plans in motion to increase their parking in the next few months.

Meanwhile Bristol and Dover, whose council hopes to raise £200,000 in the 2018/19 financial year, are planning to reintroduce Sunday charges in car parks and on streets.

The price hike has been blasted as a “war on motorists” by Tory MP for Harlow, Robert Halfon, while his colleague for East Yorkshire Sir Greg Knight warned the move could damage the high streets.

As many as half of councils could put up parking charges over the next few months, according to a report by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU).

The LGIU report released last month found over 90 percent of cash-strapped town halls have been forced to increase council tax and charges to make ends meet.

The report was based on a survey which received responses from 113 English councils.

The news comes as the Government spending watchdog warned that 10 percent of the 152 town halls in England responsible for social care are on course to run out of money.

Cheltenham councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, said: “Parking charges are always an emotive issue and increases will never be popular, however, this is the first review for 8 years and the council has looked to ensure that charges are in line with other towns regionally, with a similar offer to Cheltenham.

“All income brought in from parking charges in Cheltenham is ploughed back into local services, including car parking and parks and gardens maintenance, helping to ensure the quality of the town’s offer to visitors and residents alike.

“The council is committing to invest £400,000 into improving the town centre car parks.

Council parking and car park

Car park spaces and residents’ permits will cost up to 45 percent more

“In some cases, charges are being held at the same level or are even reducing, so if cost is an issue it may pay customers to consider alternative parking locations.”

Meanwhile Bournemouth councillor Mike Greene, whose town hall is set to impose the biggest increase in annual permit tariffs, said the “current financial challenges” had forced the parking price hike.

Mr Greene said: “Bournemouth’s car parks are changing for the better and delivering an improved new offer for users.

“With the current financial challenges for all councils, reluctantly we need to introduce this small increase.

“But even with the additional charge our car parks remain distinctively cheaper than those operated by private providers.”

The war on motorists has got to stop

Tory MP for Harlow Robert Halfon

In Bournemouth most tariffs for on-street parking rise by 50p later this month, while annual permits are to rise by around £10 a month.

Brighton and Hove from April 3 will raise visitor permits from £3.50 to £4.50 and increase some on-street charges.

Meanwhile Cheltenham has increased charges at Bath Parade, Rodney Road and St James Street, Cheltenham Walk and St Georges Road increased by 33 percent with six hours now setting motorist back a steep £12.

Cheltenham’s High Street and Sherborne Place have also increased 45 percent to £8 for over four hours.

In Leicester households will be limited to four resident’s permits and new visitor parking permits introduced cost £30.

UK carp park

As many as half of councils could put up parking charges over the next few months

Meanwhile Thanet Council hopes to raise an extra £390,000 a year from charges in some car parks and streets which are currently free.

Reading plans to increase rate for pay and display by 10p an hour and Flintshire will be increasing fees at several carparks.

Tory MP for East Yorkshire Sir Greg Knight warned the move could damage high streets and drive shoppers to out-of-town retail centres.

He told the Daily Mail: “The high street in many towns and cities is already under threat from internet shopping and higher parking charges could well have the effect of pushing more small town centre shops into liquidation.”

His colleague Tory MP for Harlow Robert Halfon added: “The war on motorists has got to stop.

UK car park

The price hike has been blasted as a ‘war on motorists’ by Tory MP for Harlow, Robert Halfon

“Whether it is hospital parking charges, or council parking fees, motorists are seen as a cash cow and are being hit by one stealth tax after another.”

Martin Tett of the Local Government Association said: “Local authorities remain on the side of hard-pressed motorists, shoppers and businesses and do not set parking charges to make a profit.

“Car parks cost taxpayers money to maintain and improve and any surplus is spent on essential transport projects, such as tackling the £12billion roads repair backlog and creating new parking spaces.

“To protect such provision, and in the face of an overall funding gap that will exceed £5billion by 2020, councils are being forced to make difficult decisions.”

post source

Leave a your comments