Car Parks to Remain Free for up to Two Hours until July
In anticipation of the lockdown measures being further eased and the government's planned reopening of the High Street from the beginning of June, we're planning to introduce a further period of free parking to help businesses and their customers.
We previously suspended the charges in all of our car parks on 25th March following the prime minister’s lockdown announcement – and with the government indicating that it plans to continue relaxing the restrictions we're now recommending that parking charges aren’t immediately reinstated.
Instead, Cabinet members will meet on 29th May to consider proposals that parking remains free all day up to and including Sunday 7th June – enabling business owners access to restock their shops and to give residents and town centre workers time to prepare for the parking changes. From Monday 8th June all TVBC car parks will be free for up to two hours for a further month, with normal charges applying for those staying for longer periods.
If restrictions continue to be relaxed, then the authority plans to reintroduce standard parking charges from Wednesday 8th July. This will be at the new rate that came into force from the 1st April, which enables customers to park for two hours for £1, with free parking still available for up to two hours in Shepherds Spring Lane car park.
The suspension of parking charges during the lockdown period has come at a significant cost to the council but it was absolutely the right decision as it has enabled those collecting essential supplies for themselves and others to do so speedily and safely, and ensured adequate parking for those living in and around the town centres who were confined to their homes.
As the government starts to lift the restrictions and reopen the High Street, we wanted to give shop owners and residents an additional period of time where parking is free, which is why we are planning for a gradual return to normal charges over the next couple of months. We will of course keep this under review should the government start to ramp up lockdown measures again.
Parking will remain free after 4pm Monday to Friday as well as all day Sunday and bank holidays.