Council seeks parking fees hike

The City of Lincoln Council is looking to increase parking charges across the city, passing over to motorists the VAT rate increase starting next year.

Parking charges at the council’s 19 parking sites in Lincoln would go up to £1.50 for an hour, £2.50 for two hours and £3.50 for three hours, according to proposals.

The tariffs would still be below those of private parking operators in the city. NCP prices are typically £2.40 for an hour and £4.20 for two hours.

Under proposals, a new initiative would allow motorists who paid for over two hours of parking to use the same ticket when moving between the council’s car parks.

The scheme would also allow those who bought a daytime ticket of any value during the week to display the same ticket at the weekend to get free evening parking.

The Lucy Tower and Broadgate car parks will also see free evening and weekend parking, if the proposal is approved at an Executive Meeting next week.

The average overall increase is 4.5%, which is in line with the current retail price index (RPI) of 4.6%, but higher than the current consumer price index (CPI) of 3.1%.

The council normally uses CPI as a proxy for its average annual increase. Parking charges bring in to the council almost 60% of its income every year.

In a proposal up for approval on November 22, the council notes that fewer people are already using its car parks.

Due to this decrease in usage, the council suggests that car park income will be some £323,000 below budget over the remaining part of the year to March 2011.

Previously the council tried to develop a tariff system that identified each of its car parks as suitable to commuters, shoppers, and visitors.

The new pricing structure though is claimed to be more cost-effective for people, with the introduction of flexible transferable tickets for shorter stays.