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Car Park charges – Vale Cabinet puts local business recovery first

Released on August 27, 2020

Vale of White Horse District Council’s Cabinet has prioritised supporting local businesses recovering from COVID-19 ahead of addressing the council’s own longer-term financial pressures in deciding about changes to car park charges across the district.

Earlier this month, Cabinet considered a range of options for the district’s council car parks.  After listening to feedback from local residents and businesses, Cabinet members unanimously agreed to retain two hours free parking across the district in order to ensure that town centre shops and cafes can continue to benefit from the scheme while they recover from the pandemic. 

Cllr Debby Hallett, Deputy Leader at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “In the longer term we need to reduce the running costs of our car parks and encourage a shift from using private cars towards active travel and public transport. But in the short term, with many people concerned about using public transport, we want to support our local town centres and small businesses as they recover from the impact of COVID-19.  Therefore, parking will remain free for the first two hours each day.”

“However, it is important that we do begin to address our parking deficit and so, from later this year, it is necessary for us to raise fees for parking over two hours and increase charges for permit holders.  We expect that this will bring in around £48,000 a year which is an important first step towards meeting this financial challenge.” 

Notes for editors:

Cabinet agreed a 40p tariff increase and ten per cent parking permit increase.  These changes can be introduced without consultation and will therefore be implemented in the coming months once a public notice period has concluded and new signage is ready. The council expects to have these revised charges in operation before 1 December.  

There will also be a phased removal of the discount on permits provided for residents. This will take place over four years, also starting no later than 1 December 2020.  The council will also stop selling residential permits to new applicants from 1 October 2020.