City Council announces parking charges for 2011

At its meeting on the 14th October 2010 the City Council’s Cabinet considers a report about on street and off street parking charges for 2011.

It is proposed that there is no increase in charges for season tickets or daily parking in any of the City Council’s car parks in Winchester and only very small increases in those in rural areas. Rural area car parks retain their ‘first half hour free’ if they have this at present.

The City Council recognises the financial pressures on businesses and individuals in the current period of economic uncertainty and aims to help by avoiding increases on the parking that people use the most. This will include a freeze in the cost of park and ride to ensure that this remains the best value as well as the greenest parking option for visitors to Winchester.

With Sunday now almost as important as a trading day as any other it is recommended that Winchester follows the pattern set by other nearby towns and introduces charges for parking on Sunday. This would be for the car parks and on street areas closest to the town centre. Other car parks would remain free of charge to encourage people not to bring their cars right into the town centre but to walk the short distance and save their money.

The ‘free first half hour’ for on street parking in Winchester will come to an end, and this will reduce the likelihood that people will drive around the city centre looking for one of the small number of spaces that is available.

The additional revenue collected from Sunday parking and the changes in on street parking will offset the money that must be passed to the Government when VAT rises to 20% in January. The City Council does not expect to generate any additional revenue from car parks in 2011.

Cllr Eleanor Bell, Portfolio Holder for High Quality Environment said, “We believe that this is good news for our residents and our businesses. At a time when many councils will see putting up parking charges as an easy option, we are holding them down.

The introduction of charging on Sunday is a realistic measure to help us meet the costs imposed by the government through VAT. There will still be plenty of options allowing people to park free of charge if they want to.

Our charging scheme is designed to provide incentives to people not to bring their car right into the centre of Winchester but to walk short distances from easily accessible car parks or use the excellent park and ride service.”