On-street parking prices are set to rise with effect from next month by around nine per cent.
West Sussex County Council has confirmed the new prices for permit charges and pay and display areas in all the Chichester controlled parking zones.
The new prices will come into effect from September 2.
A spokesperson for West Sussex County Council said:
“The increase in parking charges is necessary to cover inflation and increases in operational costs.
“It also helps to make sure the balance between on and off-street parking is maintained such that town centre on-street parking is of short duration with high turn-over which maximises available parking capacity and reduces the amount of circulating traffic and increases accessibility.
“This helps to manage parking demand and frees up on-street parking spaces for those who have the greatest need.
“The income from on-street parking schemes across the county amounts to around £2.95M per year, but administrative and operational costs have to be deducted from that income. The proposal generates estimated additional annual income of £257,000. The use of any surplus available from the on-street parking operation is ring-fenced by Section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984 (RTRA). In summary, these are:
To repay any funds for parking measures that have been borrowed from the general rate fund
To contribute towards the provision or maintenance of parking facilities;
To contribute towards improvements to passenger transport services or infrastructure
To contribute towards other highway improvements.
“Beyond paying for the operation of parking services, the council uses surplus funds to support non-commercial bus services across the county as well as other highway improvements such as new and revised parking schemes.”
Pay and display charges have increased from 75p per 30 minutes to 80p and from £1.50 an hour to £1.60.
Chichester District Council confirmed in March that car parking charges would stay the same over the next year.
Charges were last reviewed in 2017 when councillors proposed keeping them at the same level for the following two years.
The free period in Midhurst, Petworth, East Wittering and Selsey was also confirmed at remaining in place, while people buying a season ticket at any of the district’s car parks received a discount if they buy six, nine or 12 months in advance.
Parking charges in the city centre already rose by around seven per cent last year and shoppers were also unable to pay for just 15 minutes, and instead the charge was more than doubled from 35p to 75p for half an hour instead.
The mayor of Chichester, Cllr Richard Plowman said that the parking charge rises’ would have a big impact on the city.
He told the Chichester Post:
“The on-street car parking increases will have an adverse effect on the city centre not only for the shops and businesses but also for those people living in the city and in need of care as these charges have to be paid by the carers for home visits.
“Reading the justification for the increases they seem out of touch with reality for example to encourage people into the off street (already expensive) car parks or use sustainable means of transport which is currently totally inadequate.
“The car parking strategies are literally driving more workers to park in the residential areas and guess what there will be a charge for that soon.
“Most people working in Chichester can’t afford to live here so the car is vital for them. Time for some fresh thinking. How about free car parking for electric cars in the main Chichester car parks?”
A spokesperson for Chichester Business Improvement District added:
“Although it is disappointing that this is the second consecutive year of parking price rises, we’re working hard to ensure that these changes don’t deter shoppers and visitors from coming to Chichester.
“We’re developing a number of initiatives and working closely with West Sussex County Council on ways to continue to support local businesses.
“Already, West Sussex County Council has donated nearly 10,000 parking vouchers to Chichester BID to be distributed to levy payers as an incentive or thank you to loyal clientele.
“More parking vouchers will be released and in the meantime we’ll continue to work with the council and business owners on initiatives to increase footfall in the city centre and support local businesses.”