Motorists feeling the pinch would be advised to steer well clear of Eastleigh from February as the cash strapped council attempt to bolster flagging finances by hiking car parking charges for the second time in six months with inflation busting rises of up to 25%.
The council have £100 million in long term loans to service while faced with a reduction in the government grant of around £850k this year and are unable to increase revenue from direct taxation due to the government freeze on council tax.
Although the communities minister Eric Pickles has warned councils not to use parking charges as an alternative revenue stream, the new charges will come into play from February 20.
One hour stays in the town centre will be going up from £1 to £1.10 while a four hour stay in Hamble square will now cost £2.50 instead of £2.
Download a full schedule of proposed parking charges here:
There will be no reduction in long stay charges either. Families who wish to linger in Eastleigh to enjoy the fantastic shopping ,restaurant and leisure facilities available at the Swan Centre will still be penalised £13 if they plan to stay any longer than seven hours.(£4 at Leisure World Southampton – almost a £10 saving).
In November the cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Louise Bloom said she refused to “apologise for parking charges ” maintaining they were necessary to discourage car usage in order to tackle climate change.
Meanwhile in December, the British Retail Consortium issued a report calling parking charges a ‘Town Killer’.
Last week, in the face of objections from residents and despite opposition from Labour councillor Brian Norgate and the Independent Group of Eastleigh Councillors led by Glynn Davies-Dear; the Lib Dems on the local area committee broke a pre-election pledge made by Cllr Keith House and Wayne Irish by voting in favour of a £30 first charge for parking permits in Eastleigh.
It is possible to lodge an objection to (or register support of) the rises and a full list of further proposed changes to traffic orders in Eastleigh on the following web page: