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Business urged to engage in parking survey, which could see charges soar

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Businesses are being urged to engage with Wiltshire Council over proposed changes to car parking charges, which could see costs for business employees and customers soar.

Car parking tariffs differ wildly across the county. An 11.8 percent increase in parking charges at Wiltshire’s off-road car parks could see all-day parking increase from £6.80 to £7.50 in Bradford on Avon, £7.50 to £8.40 in Chippenham, £6.10 to £6.80 in Devizes, and from £8.80 to £9.80 in Salisbury. Other market towns would be similarly affected.

Sunday and bank holiday parking charges could also be introduced.

But the biggest changes will be faced by employees and customers who grab spaces at some of the county’s free car parks, and those workers who buy season tickets.

The council is considering the introduction of pay and display charges at Devizes Market Place, Station Car Park in Melksham, Central car park in Amesbury, Burnham Road in Malmesbury, Southwick Country Park in Trowbridge, Westbury Leigh, and Smallbrook Lane at Warminster.

Meanwhile parking permit holders face an increase of, in some cases, 80 percent as the council seeks to charge permit holders 50 percent of the normal parking charge. Permits of seven car parks in Salisbury would break the £1,000 per year barrier.

In its online consultation, the council writes: “The council continues to face significant financial challenges as a result of reduced funding from central government and an increasing demand on front line services.

“To meet these challenges there has been a need to look at all council services and to consider where further efficiencies can be made and / or where there is an opportunity to generate additional income.

“The council’s parking services is also facing significant cost pressures including business rate payments, essential equipment upgrades, maintenance works and inflation costs.

“The demands on the service from residents, schools, businesses and parish / town councils are also increasing. And, importantly, the surplus revenue from parking charges supports other transport measures including essential local bus services.

“Due to the pressures outlined above, it is considered that a number of charging policies and practices in relation to car parking need to be looked at again.

“To this end, the council has identified a number of possible charging options. We would like your views on which of these options, if any, you feel could be considered for implementation to help address the council’s financial and demand pressures.”

The online consultation, and supporting documents, can be accessed at http://consult.wiltshire.gov.uk/portal/parking_and_transport/car_parking_charges_consultation