A raft of new parking arrangements designed to make parking that bit simpler in Plymouth will come into effect from 1 April.
Cheaper long-stay parking, simpler tariffs and tickets that can be used in more than one place are part of a package of measures to help shoppers and visitors park more easily.
Smart meters will be installed to allow people to park for longer if they overpay (for example, if they don’t have the right change) and transferable tickets will be introduced that so that drivers parking on street can move their cars to another location if there is still time left on their ticket.
Plymouth’s journey to become more digitally friendly and services more accessible also takes another step with virtual permits for hotel and guest house visitors soon to be made available.
Councillor Steve Ricketts, Cabinet Member for Transport and Housing Delivery, said: “No one likes to pay more for anything, but we have used this review to see how we can make our offer better, iron out issues as well as create revenue so that we can continue to protect the services that look after the vulnerable.
“We have tried to strike a balance between keeping increases as low as possible as well as looking at how our service can help businesses, including shops and hotels.”
Key changes include:
Simpler to park on-street
The new arrangements will simplify and standardise on-street parking by applying the same charges between 8am and 6pm as well as a city wide flat rate evening charge of £2 between 6pm and 8am (except Hoe Road and Madeira Road). The hourly on-street charge will increase by 10p from £1.40 to £1.50.
Better service for hotels and guest houses
Visitor permits will soon be bookable online without needing to collect and display paper permits from First Stop. Permit fees, which have been the same for over 20 years, will be increased from £2 to £5. The time has been extended too, so that visitors can have a lie in and time to check out at 10am. The old permits ran from midnight to midnight. (We have listened to hoteliers and will still operate the paper permit system for the time-being.)
Better for businesses
Business permits will be simplified and standardised with all current daily business permits replaced with a new long stay business permit and a short stay business permit as well as a new business visitor permit costing £2.
Revised car park tariffs
To help city centre business and to encourage people to stay longer and spend in city centre shops, the one hour option is being removed from all long stay car parks (except Western Approach) , the ‘up to six hours’ fee is reducing from £4 to £3.50 though short stay car park tariffs will go up by 10p an hour.
Blue badge holders
A new virtual permit for Blue Badge holders to park in any Council car park for £40 a year will be introduced. Plymouth is following other councils by applying charges for Blue Badges in its car parks, but will allow Blue Badge holders to have an hour free above the paid time.
There will be no changes to residents’ permits or residents’ visitor permits.
The Parking Modernisation Plan was approved by Cabinet in December and members of the public were invited to take part in a consultation in January. The parking team also met with the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, Plymouth City Centre Company, Plymouth Hospitality Association and Plymouth Area Disability Network as well as partners and charities.