Parking Charge Re-think

13 July 2011, 13:38 | Updated: 13 July 2011, 13:53

After loads of people complained about having to pay to park overnight in part of the Thames Valley, the local authority in charge is having a re-think.

Members of Cherwell District Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Resources and Performance Scrutiny Board met last night to talk about changing the new parking charges introduced in April this year, after local businesses and members of the public complained.

They discussed the need to balance real benefit to car park users and town traders with the accepted effects on the Council's limited and reducing finances.

Heart's been given this list of recommendations:

  • hourly parking tariffs will remain at current levels until 1900 hours and free afterwards;
  • free parking for blue badge holders is implemented within designated disabled bays only, charges will apply for parking in general bays;
  • a 10 minute period of grace will be applied for parking period expiry and non-purchase of tickets;  
  • the discount for early payment of excess charge notices will be increased to 50 per cent for all contraventions, if paid within fourteen days;
  • the £16 administration fee levied against car parking fines that are not subsequently enforced will be suspended immediately.  Administration fees already paid will be refunded.
  • The effects of redevelopment works in Bicester Town Centre were also recognised and members agreed to warrant an adjustment to the current charging regime until the new development is complete (anticipated summer 2013) by reducing the current charges by 10p per hour.

These recommendations will now be put forward to Cherwell's Executive for a decision on 26 July.  If agreed, they could be put in place by Christmas 2011.

Cllr Kieron Mallon, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee said: 

"The Executive promised to review the new charges in the autumn.  Mindful of public concerns, members of the scrutiny committee asked that the review be brought forward.  Now, having had a chance to look at all the options available to us, and bearing in mind the council's financial position, we are proposing a set of costed recommendations that we believe address most of these concerns."