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Plans to put parking charges on ice

News release issued on 02 November 2016

Sevenoaks District Council is proposing to freeze charges in all of its car parks in Sevenoaks, Swanley and Westerham from next April. All season tickets, permits and vouchers will remain the same price too.

A minor change to improve car park management will see the normal daily tariff extended to include Sundays in the Council's flagship Blighs car park in Sevenoaks town to help promote greater turnover of spaces. But free parking will be preserved on street and in all the Council's other car parks.

No changes are proposed to on street charges except in central Sevenoaks where the tariff will be harmonised with the simple pound per hour pricing available in the Council's car parks. The popular thirty minute stay will also be kept.

Additional income from the new car park fees will go some way towards paying a £95,500 increase in Business Rates from next April 2017, which the Council has to pay on each and every car parking space. Other operating costs include insurance, maintenance, security, enforcement and car park improvements.

This year's improvements include new safety barriers in South Park, resurfacing of Buckhurst 1 car park, surface improvements to South Park and Suffolk Way car park and the installation of energy-efficient lighting in Blighs in Sevenoaks. Darent car park in Westerham has benefited from resurfacing of the entrance road and the construction of additional parking just off the main car park, particularly aimed at accommodating more visitors during special events over the summer.

Cllr Matthew Dickins, the Council's Cabinet Member for parking says: "Supporting residents, businesses and visitors is the Council's foremost priority, which is why we are proposing freezing all of our car park charges and nearly all on street charges.

"The growing Sunday economy has seen increasing pressure put on the Blighs short stay car park. Extending our standard tariff to include Sundays will ensure parking remains available for shoppers giving. Parking will remain free everywhere else in Sevenoaks town so everyone can continue to park.

"Valued feedback from the community has helped shape these proposals and I look forward to the results of the consultation which will further inform this review."

The proposed changes were considered by the Direct and Trading Advisory Committee on 1 November and would come into effect next April following a public consultation and consideration by Cabinet on 10 November.

View the Annual Review of Parking Charges for 2016/17