Car parking charges to rise amid budget pressures

Published Tuesday 9 February 2021

Parking charges will be increased in the Harborough district, councillors have agreed.

Harborough District Council’s Cabinet agreed, at its meeting on 8 February 2021, that parking charges, at all Council-owned car parks in the Harborough district, are increased as part of the Council’s budget setting process.

The new parking tariffs will come into effect at the start of the next financial year, April 2021.

It will be the first time parking charges have increased in Harborough district since 2017.

In the last year, the Council has seen a significant loss of revenue due to the coronavirus lockdowns and reduced travel. The increase in parking charges is also set against the context of Harborough District Council needing to address an annual budget gap of around £4million.

Pay by phone sticker on parking machineIn Market Harborough, parking charges will rise from £1 to £1.50 to park for up to two hours, from £1.50 to £2 for up to three hours, from £2.50 to £3 for up to four hours, and from £6 to £7.50 for over four hours.

In Lutterworth, charges will increase from 60p to £1 for up to one hour, from £1 to £1.50 for up to two hours, from £1.50 to £2 for up to three hours, from £2.50 to £3 for up to four hours, and from £4 to £5 for over four hours.

Long stay car parks, in Market Harborough, will increase from the current fee of £2 for up to four hours to £2.50, and from £4 to £5 for over four hours.

Cllr Paul Dann, Harborough District Council’s Cabinet lead for corporate and regulatory services, said: “We understand this is a challenging time and the increase to parking charges has not been taken lightly. We face increasing costs to provide the service and maintain our car parks across the district, and it is important that we provide good, clean and safe parking facilities to ensure a strong local economy that works for shoppers, businesses, and visitors.”

New pay and display machines have been purchased by the Council with improved payment options including contactless and card payment, and Pay By Phone which allows users to top up their stay without returning to their vehicle. Electric vehicle charging points have also been introduced to some of its car parks.

Cllr Dann added: “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is deep and far-reaching, and whilst increasing charges is not something we would ideally want to do, it is necessary if we are to continue to provide the essential services that our Council tax payers want.”

The Council said that when compared to other market towns the charges are comparable or less than neighbouring areas. Parking charges also generate revenue for the local area from visitors coming from outside the district.

The agreed charges will now be incorporated into the 2021/22 budget report being considered by Harborough District Council on 22 February 2021.