Derbyshire Dales council to vote on raising car park charges by 13%

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Parking charges in the Derbyshire Dales could be hiked for the first time in four years if district councillors approve the move this week.

Council officers have put forward plans to increase fees by around 13 per cent at 34 pay-and-display sites in a report to be considered by the community and environment committee on Thursday, July 12.

It would mean the cost for an hour of parking would rise by 20 pence to £1.50, two hours by 30p to £2.50, three hours by 50p to £3.80, four hours by 60p to £5 and a full day by 50p to £6. Coach parking would rise by 50p to £5.50.

The report states: “Revenue generated from pay-and-display parking is used to support a wide range of range of local services expected of a popular tourist destination.

“That includes the provision and upkeep of ornamental parks and gardens, public open spaces and play facilities, as well as contributing to maintaining a high standard of cleanliness and mowing throughout the district’s many market towns and villages.

It adds: “In addition to the loss of potential revenue through freezing parking fees over the past four years, the council has, since January 2018, been required to absorb costs relating to the increasing use of debit and credit cards as a means of payment.

“Most of the council’s car parks now accept such methods of payment, with transactions amounting to more than £230,000 over the last 12 months, with associated merchant banking costs in the region of £13,000.”

While the change would generate additional income for the council to repair car parks and fund services, it would also cost £28,000 to implement.

The new signage required, machine recalibration and other associated costs are among the main reasons such a move is only considered every four to five years.

The council’s provision of 34,000 residents’ parking permits —used 2.5million times last year — would not be affected, meaning badge-holders could still use pay-and-display areas for up to 19 hours each day free of charge.

Charges at those car parks which have a public toilet are already 20p higher than sites without such facilities, with coaches charged 50p more.

With the new increases, these sites would remain 20p higher for each charge.

To read the full council report, go to https://goo.gl/u9gy55. The meeting starts at 6pm at the town hall.

• By Eddie Bisknell, local democracy reporter