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ALL car parks in the town centre will begin charging for parking on Sundays as Wiltshire Council announced that charges will be 70p per visit, with the implementation of the new charges due this summer.
Wiltshire Council says that it was necessary to address the financial pressures faced by the council’s parking services and to help support local bus services. It was approved on Tuesday 30th January and the council says the majority of people and organisations agreed to the proposals set out in a consultation last year.
Wiltshire Council says, “While respondents weren’t in favour of reducing the parking ‘grace’ period from 15 minutes to 10 minutes, options which have been agreed are: Introduce Sunday and Bank/ Public Holiday charging at most car parks. Charge in majority of Wiltshire Council car parks. Move the free event parking offer in November and December to other times of the year. Base season ticket prices on the standard day rate charges. Harmonise residents’ parking permit charges on a two- tier basis.
It was also announced last month that an inflationary increase will be applied to all parking charges from 1st February. Wiltshire Council says, “This was after 63% of those who responded supported the rise.
“There were around 1,400 responses to the consultation into a review of car parking charges in Wiltshire, aiming to help minimise the impact of funding challenges on public transport and other services.
“The changes will also fund investment in customer service – including automatic number plate recognition for residents’ parking zones, static cameras outside schools to improve safety and body worn cameras.”
Bridget Wayman, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for highways and transport said, “I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to this important consultation, it really has helped us decide on how we charge for parking going forward.
“Parking charges have not been increased through an inflation uplift since 2011 and the cost of operating car parks and public transport is continuing to rise. Along with the increasing demand on our budget, we have introduced new charges to mitigate some service reductions.
“I am also grateful for the other funding opportunities suggested by those who responded to the consultation on the proposals.”
There will be a further period of consultation later in the year. Despite an increase in charges for two hours and up, the charges for up to an hour remains the same. Bath Road and Church Street remains at 40p, whilst King Street, Lowbourne and Union Street remain at 30p.