A new £1 for two hours parking charge will be introduced in Christchurch town centre from 1 April.
The new £1 charge comes as a result of the council and Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce working in partnership. The charge was originally recommended by the chamber and, following surveys by the council and the chamber, was put to the council’s Resources Committee.
A consultation period followed, with a letter describing the proposed changes sent to parish councils, chambers of trade, residents’ associations and other interested organisations. No objections or concerns were raised during consultation and the Resources Committee approved the changes.
Leader of the council, Cllr Ray Nottage said: “This initiative, which we hope will benefit both businesses and customers in the town centre, was developed through working closely with the chamber and we are very pleased that these changes are coming into effect. We are continuing to liaise with the chamber to identify further opportunities to work together for the benefit of the town.”
Peter Watson-Lee, President of the Chamber of Trade & Commerce, added: “We believe the change is a vital step in supporting the town centre and encouraging the public to use and enjoy what Christchurch is able to offer. It is good to be working in partnership with the council to make improvements for businesses and customers alike in the borough and I hope this will be the start of a number of projects where we will be able to do this.”
The new £1 charge will apply to Saxon Square, Bank Close, Wick Lane and Bypass (Waitrose) car parks and represents a 60p reduction on the current rate. This is expected to reduce annual car park revenue by approximately £22,000. To offset this, the three-hour rate in these car parks will rise by 10p to £2.50, the four-hour rate by 20p to £3.40 and the half-hour rate – only applicable at Saxon Square – by 10p to 50p. All changes will come into effect from 1 April 2014 and a report reviewing the effect on trade and on the council’s car parking income will be presented to the November 2014 Resources Committee.