Short-stay city parking charges could be set for a hike
- Credit: Steve Adams
Shoppers visiting the city could face extra charges of around 10p an hour for using many of the smallest council-run car parks under plans going to committee this week.
As travel within the city centre has been marred for months by ongoing roadworks under the Transport for Norwich scheme the price hikes – if approved tomorrow – would come into force on November 14.
It is hoped to generate around £84,250 on top of the £5.45m currently projected for the next financial year.
Currently, Norwich City Council (NCC) owns 20pc of all off-street parking, with the remainder under private ownership, including Castle Mall and Intu Chapelfield.
David Rogers, client property and parking manager for NCC, said in his report 'there remains considerable competition for business between operators'.
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The changes will mainly affect the smaller car parks in the city centre, including Chantry, Chapelfield East, Monastery Court and Pottergate.
Every car park will see a 20p per hour rise between the hours of 6.30pm and 5am.
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The charges were last amended in November last year.
'There are some very central car parks in the council's portfolio which are relatively small in size and where demand is very high,' added Mr Rogers. 'At these sites a higher tariff can be set in order to manage that demand and ensure continued parking use for the land.'
Bert Bremner, cabinet member for environment and sustainable development, said the charge increases were planned to avoid incurring large shortfalls from major projects.
An extra 595 spaces were added to the council portfolio with the opening of the £7m Rose Lane car park in May, but there has still been an overall reduction in spaces since the closure of the Anglia Square multi-storey.
'It is a balance we need to find, and the one thing we do not want to do is to kill off city centre businesses,' said Mr Bremner.
'We want to keep Norwich as vibrant a place as it is now. This is simply so we do not have shock horror increases to make up for not doing anything in the past.
'It is demand related as well and we want to encourage the use of some car parks.
'Like any other commercial operation we have to consider a whole range of things.
'It is a view held by some but not a general view that drivers are being driven out of the city centre. We have improved the city centre by stopping it being a through route – so making it a much more positive place for businesses to be.
'It is a question of saying businesses can operate properly in the city.'
What do you think of the proposals? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, Norwich Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.