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Gloucestershire Business News

Plans to scrap one-hour parking across Gloucester and increase charges

One-hour tariffs are to be removed across council-run car parks in Gloucester and other charges increased under proposals to raise an extra £560,000.

It will mean drivers paying for at least two hours of parking across most of the 15 sites managed by the authority.

Bosses said the change, which will be voted on by councillors next week, "encourages longer stays to help the city centre economy".

The proposals would also see some charges jump up by more than 60% and Kings Walk and Eastgate car parks privatised.

The council said it needs to bring tariffs in-line with inflation and other authorities. 

It also wants residents to cut car journeys by planning one stop pedestrian shops and considering more sustainable transport to help it reach its carbon reduction goals.

A report going to cabinet on Wednesday (Dec 6) said: "The council are aware of the importance of car parking sites to the development and prosperity of the city."

It added: "Our current charging regime does not help change people's mindset in relation to other more sustainable transport methods.

"Our current regime encourages short stays for an hour or less which does not fit with the council trying to encourage longer stays and more use of our city centre businesses and actually encourages hopping into the car to drive to multiple places."

Car parks managed by the council are Castlemeads, Eastgate CP, GL1, Great Western Rd, Hampden Way, Hare Lane North, Hare Lane South, Kings Walk, Laybellgate, Longsmiths St, North WH, Southgate Moorings, St Michaels Square, Station Rd and Westgate St.

If approved, the changes would see a 12 week season ticket at Hare Lane North car park leap from £216 to £347, an increase of 62%, with plans to increase it further over the next two years.

Charges at GL1 car park would not be changed due to the "unique relationship between sports and leisure providers and the council".

Under the proposals Kings Walk and Eastgate car parks would be privatised with Gloucester City Council handing management over to the shopping centre owners.

Both sites are open 24 hours a day but are "underutilised" in the evenings resulting in a loss of income, according to a report going to cabinet on Wednesday (Dec 6).

It said giving up control will mean their use can be aligned with the regeneration of the Kings Quarter development.

Tariffs in council-car parks were last changed in January but have not been reviewed fully for more than five years. The council said this has led to a £315,000 reduction in income.

They are now to be "regularised" to reflect current trend and habits, inflationary change and anomalies such as the 'all day parking tariff' not being amended since 2012.

Over the last five years the Retail Prices Index has increased by 28.5% and the Consumer Prices Index has increased by 18.5%.

"Current charges remain historically low and do not align with the council objectives of maintaining and improving a sustainable car parking infrastructure for the future whilst ensuring a balanced budget," said the report.

The proposed increases to the tariffs, the removal of the one-hour tariff and the combining of Zones 1 and 2 into a single Zone A is estimated to increase the car park income by £560,000.

A 1% reduction in the number of people parking is estimated to be a reduction in income of £25,000.

Some of the money raised will be pumped back into accommodating the expected increase in EV vehicles in the next five years.

Plans to install more charging stations in its car parks are already underway with investment in the regeneration of the Bruton Way car park as part of the Forum development.

Changes to charging hours across all car parks will be subject to public consultation.

CHARGES

  • Great Western Road, Monday to Sunday, 7am-6pm
  • Up to 2 hours £2.40
  • Up to 3 hours £3.50
  • Up to 4 hours £4.60
  • All Day increased from £3.20 to £5 and increased to £8 over two years
  • Sunday up to 1 hour £1.50
  • Sunday All Day £2.20
  • Season ticket 12 weeks £347 and will increase as daily rate rises

Hare Lane North, Monday to Sunday, 7am-6pm

  • Up to 2 hours £2.40
  • Up to 3 hours £3.50
  • Up to 4 hours increased from £2.20 to £4.60
  • All Day Up to 6pm increased from £3 to £5 and increased to £8 over two years
  • Sunday Up to 1 hour increased from £1.10 to £1.50
  • Sunday All Day up to 6pm increased from £2 to £2.20
  • 12 Weeks Season Ticket increased from £216 to £347 and will increase as daily rate rises

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