Proposals drawn up to increase car parking costs and extend charging hours to 8pm in Lichfield

Proposals have been drawn up to increase car parking costs and extend the time when charges apply in Lichfield.

A report to Lichfield District Council has suggested increasing the amount it costs drivers to use local authority controlled car parks.

The council could see a rise of between £215,000 and £468,000 in the money it makes if the rise were to be introduced.

A report to the local authority said: “The charging structure has remained unchanged since 2008.

“During this time the council has also absorbed the 2.5% increase in VAT, so in real terms parking is cheaper now than it was six years ago.

“Officers have produced proposals for increases. These are achieved by increases in the charges for parking permits, an extension in the charging ours and rises in the tariffs charged at the machines.”

Rise in permit prices

But a review has recommended that any rise should be held back for the time being due to the disruption likely to be caused by the Friarsgate city centre redevelopment.

“This potential delay [to the rises] could either take the form of a complete freeze on tariffs or, if thought necessary, parts of the recommendation, such as the rise in permit prices or the extension of charging, hours could be brought in while leaving the core rates untouched.”

Among the proposals are a six month permit to rise by £50 and the car parking period extending from 6.30pm to 8pm.

Meanwhile, pay and display parking in short stay car parks could increase by 10p per hour for one to two hours or 20p per hour for a three to four hour stay.

Long stay parking, meanwhile, could go up by 10p for four hours, 20p for six hours or 30p for an all day ticket.

Resident parking schemes

But the council has admitted that rises could also cause knock-on problems across Lichfield and Burntwood.

The report added: “When considering potential rises, consideration must also be given to the possible impact of displacement parking in residential streets.

“A minority of drivers already seek to find free parking wherer this may be available and there is a risk that this could become a more substatial problem if tariffs increased to a point where the convenience of centrally available parking was outweighed by cost.

“A solution to local issues such as this is provided by the availability of residents parking schemes. These are common in larger urban centres and restrict parking in certain streets to those residents and some businesses which have access from the street in question.

“One such scheme is already in place in Lichfield for the convenience of residents in Lombard Street.”

Reducing prices?

Although the council is considering increasing parking charges, some business have called for a reduction in costs on certain days in a bid to attract more shoppers.

But the local authority’s report says it is not convinced that the numbers add up.

“The suggestion has been made that the local authority should consider reducing prices or even remove the payment requirements on days when special events are taking place in the town,” the report continues.

“This matter is currently the subject of discussion with the Lichfield Business Improvement District management team.

“While the aim of encouraging more visitors with the obvious beneficial contribution to the local economy is understandable, from a purely parking point of view, the business case for reducing rates at what are likely to be our busiest operating periods is less clear.”

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7 Comments

  1. Thornton

    25th January, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Instead of charging more to park in Lichfield which could see visitors put off from driving here, why not increase council tax instead or have a Lichfield only fund which could generate a lot more income without putting off tourists?

  2. Owen Franks

    25th January, 2016 at 11:27 am

    Way to damage the viability of the city centre even more..

  3. Chris

    25th January, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    I don’t see why anyone would pay to park in Lichfield. Three hours free in Tesco is more than enough time to do whatever you need to in Lichfield several times over.

  4. Darryl

    25th January, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    @Thornton

    Are you finding your council tax particularly cheap? Because we’re not.

  5. Louise

    25th January, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    ”During this time the council has also absorbed the 2.5% increase in VAT, so in real terms parking is cheaper now than it was six years ago”

    And tell me how many of your visitors, have had a pay rise in the last six years?

    The shopping experience in Lichfield is poor in comparison to nearby towns – Sutton, Burton and Tamworth (which offers free parking). It will only drive tourists away.

  6. Nomad

    25th January, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Who wants to shop in Lichfield …realistically

  7. Thornton

    25th January, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    I very much doubt Lichfield attracts visitors because of its range of shops. It’s about time people realised what Lichfield is. It is not should never become a shopping hub full of chain stores. Lichfield still has something special about it and should be protected from the people who don’t value this. This is why an increase in council tax would keep Lichfield a special place where this extra money would stop the council from having to allow chain stores to take over and also allow them to have more control in developing the City.