OFFICIAL notices are being displayed in Dorset Council car parks advising drivers of changes to parking charges from April 1.
The changes come as part of an ongoing review of car parks following the creation of Dorset Council and aims to make car park charging more comparable across the council area.
Councillors agreed at a Cabinet meeting in December to support the recommendations to:
- Increase the all-day charge from £2 to £8 in Lyme Regis and West Bay
- Extend morning charges in Purbeck to begin at 8am
- Implementation of Sunday charging, where this isn’t already in place
Drivers using car parks in West Bay and Lyme Regis will now able to choose to park for one hour, two hours, three hours, four hours, six hours or all-day, with one hour’s parking starting at 50p and the all-day tariff now £6 in the low season and £8 during the peak season (April to October inclusive).
In Lyme Regis, this will affect Dorset Council-owned car parks which include Holmbush, Charmouth Road, Cobb Gate and Broad Street (Van Allens) car parks. It does not include Monmouth Beach or Woodmead car parks, which are town council owned.
For workers who use these car parks, long stay parking permits (season tickets) are available via the Dorset Council website. With a 12-month permit costing from £230, this works out as 63p per day.
Car parks in the Purbeck area, which currently have a charging period from 10am to 7pm, will now charge from 8am to 6pm, aligning with all other Dorset Council car parks.
The original recommendation to extend all evening charges to 8pm was withdrawn following concerns voiced by many town and parish councils.
Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “I feel that these changes strike a balance between supporting our town centres and high streets, as well as ensuring charging is fair and can sustain our car parks across the county.
“The standardisation of car park charging times across the council area will provide residents and visitors with a seamless transition from town to town, knowing exactly when they will need to pay at one of our car parks.
“We’re continuing our work to make car park charging more comparable across the council area, which will include in depth discussions with town and parish councils and local accessibility groups. This includes exploring the idea of a council-wide shoppers permit.”
In ongoing support of the local economy, Dorset Council offers town councils six free parking days in Dorset Council car parks each year.
This is made up of Small Business Saturday in December, one weekday in December and four days for events which generate valuable footfall for that town.