Chesterfield council approves hikes in car parking charges
Car parking charges will increase in Chesterfield after the borough council approved what it says are '˜acceptable' hikes.
From April 1, all Chesterfield Borough Council-run car parks will cost:
► 70p for up to 30 minutes (no increase);
► £1.40 for up to an hour (up from the current £1.30);
► £2.70 for up to two hours (up from the current £2.60);
► £3 for up to three hours (no increase);
► £4.40 for up to four hours (up from the current £4.30).
Above four hours it will cost a flat rate of £5 in long-stay car parks (no increase) and an extra £1.40 per hour in short-stay car parks (up from the current £1.30).
It will cost £2 to use Ashgate Road car park all day (up from the current £1) while an annual parking permit will increase by £20 to £620, a monthly permit will increase by £2 to £62 and scratchcards will increase by 10p to £3.60.
The changes - which were approved by councillors when they met this morning - would generate an extra £88,000 in income.
During 2018-19, all Chesterfield residents will continue to benefit from free parking before 10am and after 3pm Monday to Saturday and all day Sunday.
Before the meeting, Councillor Steve Brunt, the borough council's cabinet member for town centres and visitor economy, said: "Car parking charges were last reviewed in 2016 and did not increase in 2017.
"No increases are proposed to the rate for up to 30 minutes or to alter the offer of three hours parking for £3, which works out at the equivalent of £1 an hour, or the fixed rate of £5 for stays more than four hours.
"While we have sought to keep increases to a minimum it is proposed to raise other hourly rates by 10p, charge £2 a day at Ashgate Road car park and review the cost of permits.
"As part of our commitment to working with local traders, we will continue to offer free parking to Chesterfield borough residents displaying the residents’ parking permit before 10am and after 3pm Monday to Saturday and all day on Sunday.
"A range of other discounted options will be available to all motorists including annual parking permits which offer parking for the equivalent of less than £1.70 a day and monthly passes that work out at around £2.04 a day."
A borough council report states: "It is felt that the proposed changes have been sensitive enough to be acceptable.
"Any significant changes could result in loss of custom and negative publicity.
"The downturn in footfall on the high street, both locally and nationally, remains a challenge and is often blamed on car parking fees.
"Any significant tariff changes could further exacerbate this situation."
The Labour-led borough council needs to generate much-needed funding to help plug the gaps created by ongoing Government austerity.
Last year, the authority revealed it has received a 54.2 per cent cut in central Government funding since 2010-11.
The borough councill is not responsible for running all car parks in the area.
Also at the meeting, councillors approved increases in charges for a number of sport and leisure activities at borough council-run facilities.
Meanwhile, they voted for no rises in stall fees for the general, flea and farmers’ markets in Chesterfield amid challenging conditions there.