Important changes for Vale car parks to start on 4 April
Important measures to make car parks in the Vale of White Horse more sustainable to manage will be introduced next month.
Motorists parking in district council car parks in Abingdon, Faringdon and Wantage are advised that from Monday 4 April:
- Free parking will still be available but reduced to one hour a day*
- New fees will apply if you want to stay for more than one hour
- Other fees will go up by 40p
- New and renewed permits will be valid for the specific car park they are issued for and will not be transferable.
*except for Southampton Street car park in Faringdon, which will continue to offer two hours free parking a day.
Council taxpayers in the Vale have been subsidising district council car parks for many years, with the service typically running at a loss of over £250,000 a year. The shortfall has now risen to almost £450,000 following the Covid-19 pandemic. The council’s aim is for car park users to cover the costs of its car parks, rather than the general council tax-payer.
Vale of White Horse District Council is introducing the changes to reduce the deficit, while balancing its commitment to tackling the climate emergency and the needs of local businesses.
The current level of subsidy is more than five per cent of all the council tax the Vale receives each year and, even with the changes, there will still be a significant deficit. Council tax payers will therefore continue to support the costs of car parking for the foreseeable future to help local businesses, residents and visitors.
Cllr Andrew Crawford, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Assets at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “If you use our car parks, make sure you are aware of changes that we’ll be introducing from 4 April, especially the new arrangements for free parking.
“Parking in the Vale continues to offer good value for money. You will still be able to park for free for an hour each day, which is the same offer motorists receive in South Oxfordshire, and our fees remain cheaper than many other areas, including Oxford and Swindon.
“We’ve been subsidising our car parks for many years and so these changes will mark our first significant step towards making them more sustainable. With continued uncertainty over the long-term future of council funding, it’s vital we take this action now so we can continue to protect and invest in our other public services.”
For more information about the parking changes please visit whitehorsedc.gov.uk/parkingchanges
Notes for editors:
*Faringdon’s main supermarket is out of town so we hope that by offering two hours free in this town centre car park we will continue to encourage people to support local trade.