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City Council Announces Plans For ‘£1 Parking’

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Council Announces Plans For ‘£1 Parking’

People are being asked for their views on a range of measures designed to improve parking in Leicester by cutting the cost of short-stay parking and making it easier for drivers to pay to park their cars.

Key proposals in the city council’s new parking action plan include the introduction of a flat rate of £1 for an hour’s parking in the city centre, the installation of new easy-to-use payment machines that won’t require car registration details, and a new option to pay by credit and debit card in the council’s car parks.

Other proposals include reducing the number of parking zones in the city from eight to four and creating two new surface level car parks in popular central locations.

The proposals go out to public consultation today (Wednesday 26 March).

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “These proposals represent the first full review of Leicester’s parking provision in more than 20 years.

“The city has changed significantly since the 1980s and we need to ensure that the parking facilities we provide continue to meet the needs of businesses and individuals.

“By creating new spaces in popular locations and removing the unnecessarily complicated machines and pricing structure – and by introducing a new ‘park for a pound’ rate – I hope that we can start to take the hassle out of parking in Leicester.”

While many parking charges will go down under the proposals, some rates will be rounded up as part of a new simplified pricing structure – and the introduction of a £1 charge for a maximum of three hours’ parking in on-street bays and surface-level car parks in the city centre on Sundays and Bank Holidays will help ensure that more spaces are kept free for shoppers.

On-street bays in the outer zone – and in the surface-level car park at Granville Road/Victoria Park – will continue to be free of charge on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

In the city council’s two multi-storey car parks – Newarke Street and the Haymarket – shoppers will be able to park for an hour for just £1 from Monday to Saturday, and can park all day for £1 on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Charges at Newarke Street will be brought into line with those at the Haymarket as part of proposals to simplify the pricing structure across the council’s car parks.

Evening parking at both car parks will remain unchanged at £2.

“While there are always parking spaces available in Leicester, it’s clear that they are not necessarily in the areas where people want to park,” said the City Mayor.

“We’ve now started to address this by creating a new 50-space car park next to Phoenix Square, which is already proving popular with visitors to the Cultural Quarter, and we’ve provided nearly 400 additional on-street spaces for use in the evenings.

“We’re also working on plans to open two more surface-level car parks.

“There will be 23 new spaces on land on Newarke Street, and we’re currently in detailed discussions with NCP about creating additional short-stay spaces on land next to the existing multi-storey car park at St Nicholas Circle.

“It’s very important that we continue to work with other car park operators in the city to ensure that all of Leicester’s car parks are of an equally high standard – and that visitors to the city have a consistently positive experience, wherever they choose to park.”

City council officers who have drawn up the proposals in the new parking action plan have compared parking fees in Leicester with those charged by neighbouring cities to ensure that prices remain competitive. In many cases, Leicester’s charges are lower than those in Derby and Nottingham.

The proposals also outline provision for disabled people in the city. Blue badge holders can park free of charge in all city council car parks and in on-street metered bays for an unlimited period of time.

Seven additional spaces for blue badge holders will be provided off Applegate as part of the Jubilee Square scheme.

“What this action plan aims to do is to provide affordable, accessible and high quality car parking for residents, visitors and businesses,” said the City Mayor.

“We want to help businesses by providing their customers with convenient and affordable parking – and we want to help drivers, by making it easier for them to park in the areas where they want to park, whether they’re in the city to work, to shop or to enjoy a night out.”

Information about the proposals is available from the city council’s customer service centre on Granby Street, the Visit Leicester centre on Gallowtree Gate and from city libraries and museums.

Comments on the proposals can be left at council offices or submitted to the council on an online form.

Full proposals are available online at leicester.gov.uk/consultations

Anyone wishing to take part in the consultation should make sure that their comments reach the council by 22 April 2014.

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