Free parking in Stafford Borough Council run car parks are set to be scrapped.
It does not cost drivers anything currently to leave their car in Stafford and Stone town centres in the evenings and on Sundays.
But a £1 charge for parking between 6pm and 8am, or on a Sunday, are set to be brought in from January, at Stafford’s Broad Street, Doxey Road, Gaol Road, Lammascote Gyratory, Castle Hill and Tenterbanks car parks, as well as facilities in Crown Street and Christchurch Way in Stone.
The evening charge would also apply between 6pm and midnight at the Waterfront car park in Stafford town centre, where Sunday parking already costs £1. The charges already apply at the nearby Riverside Undercroft, Civic Centre and South Walls facilites.
Existing short stay car parking charges are set to rise by up to 10% at the car parks, with the current £1 for an hours’ parking going up to £1.10 in the new year and similar 10p rises for two or three hours’ parking. A four hour stay will rise by 20p at most car parks, but will increase by 50p at the Civic Centre and South Walls variable stay car park.
All day parking at Gaol Road, Lammascote Gyratory and Doxey Road will increase from £4.20 to £4.40. And there will also be rises in the charges from longer stays at Doxey Road – with a five day stay going up by £1 from £21 to £22.
A report to the borough council’s cabinet meeting this month said: “Car parking fees and charges have not increased generally since 2016, and in some cases have not increased since 2008. Additionally, past increases in the rate of VAT have not been passed onto the customer.
“The proposed increases are reflective of the annual increases that could have been applied during this Monday to Saturday 8am to 6pm period. Fees have not been raised annually as any increase would not have been to a whole 10p and therefore would have caused difficulties to the customer in having the correct change.”
In Stone one hour’s parking at Crown Street and Christchurch Way is set to increase from 60p to 70p – a 16.7% rise. Two hours’ parking will also go up by 10p, while four hours’ parking will rise by 20p. All day parking at Christchurch Way will see a 16.7% increase from £3 to £3.50.
The rises are part of the council’s annual fees and charges review. The proposed fees and charges for 2020 were recommended to be approved by the full council at its meeting on Tuesday, November 19.
Stafford Borough Council spokesman Will Conaghan said: “In some cases the charges for motorists to park on borough council run car parks have not increased for 10 years, and more generally they have not gone up since 2016 – although the cost of running and maintaining car parks, as well as undertaking a programme of improvements, has increased during that time.
“As part of the proposals there would be an extra 10p on the shorter periods of parking – for example, a one hour stay will now be £1.10p in Stafford and 70p in Stone.”