Cheaper Sunday car parking rates could be axed by Lichfield District Council.
A report by deputy leader Cllr Iain Eadie has revealed a plan to “regularise” the amount paid by drivers to leave their cars in council-run car parks.
The local authority believes introducing similar fees that operate throughout the rest of the week could rake in an addition £176,000 a year.
The council admitted that while the proposals may not be popular, they could be beneficial. Cllr Eadie’s report said:
“At present a flat rate charge is applied to the council’s car parks on a Sunday. It is proposed to regularise this and apply the same charges that apply throughout the rest of the week.
“Although there has been a traditional resistance to the introduction of Sunday charging in Lichfield due to the presence of the cathedral, as Sunday is increasingly being seen as a day for recreation and shopping this argument may have less weight than previously particularly given the emphasis the Cathedral authorities themselves are placing on ticket entry events.”Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council
Cllr Eadie also said the rise in parking prices at the weekend may lead to a drop in visitors, but said the shortfall could be mitigated by greater enforcement.
“A fall in business following the introduction of charging needs to be factored in, however based on the results of our current occasional Sunday parking patrols it appears that there is a proportionately higher level of avoidance on these days than we experience during the rest of the week.
“Additional Sunday patrols, which would be funded by Parking Charge Notification (PCN) income, could reduce none payment and counter the financial effects of any falls in business.
“It should be also noted that the 2016 tariff increase did not appear to have any effect on car park patronage or on the wider trading conditions in Lichfield.”Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council
Council’s £40,000 pot for car park variable messaging system
The report has also revealed that the council has a £40,000 pot of Section 106 money designed to improve information about city centre car parks.
“While many local residents will have knowledge of our car parks and the scope to park at any one time given demand, this will not always be the case and certainly for new visitors to the city.
“It is therefore important that information is available to inform people where car parks are and the availability of spaces.
“Variable messaging is a means of addressing this and is an area being considered subject to the necessary resources being available.
“The council currently holds a sum of approximately £40,000 to go towards this technology.”Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council
The car parking plans will be discussed at an overview and scrutiny committee meeting on 21st January.