Parking charges will be reinstated in Huntingdonshire from Monday 21 September 2020 following a six-month suspension.
To help all key workers during the lockdown period, we suspended parking charges on 28 March. We continued to provide free parking throughout June, July and August to support the gradual reopening of the town centres as part of our #ReopeningHuntingdonshire campaign. Whilst charges are to be reinstated, parking remains free after 6pm and all day on Sunday at all sites across the district.
We have developed and invested in a new digital system by MiPermit. The system extends payment options, enabling people to pay via a range of contactless methods - via an app, SMS, Apple/Android pay as well as cash. The reintroduction of charging includes restoring parking permits, council-run pay and display car parks and on-street parking.
Charges will remain the same as they were pre-COVID when they are reinstated, and all sites will have the option for customers to pay via their mobile phone for extra ease and convenience. The ticket machines will be cleaned regularly, and hand sanitiser will be provided at each machine.
Cllr Marge Beuttell, Executive Councillor for Operations and Environment said, "Since the end of March, we have suspended charges across all our car parks to support key workers and those who were unable to work safely from home throughout the lockdown period.
However, as more people return to the workplace and visit our town centres again, car park usage is quickly returning to pre-COVID levels. We have delayed reinstating parking charges for as long as possible – whilst being mindful of the significant loss of revenue during the period of charges being suspended. The free parking that has been provided over the last few months has cost the District Council approximately £1.3 million but it’s not sustainable for the council to continue to absorb such losses in addition to the wider financial impact of COVID-19 without it affecting vital frontline services."
With Council Tax covering less than 50% of the services we deliver, any surplus income generated from car parking directly supports services such as homelessness prevention, waste collection, street cleaning, and maintenance of our parks and open spaces. This income will also be used to help us deliver the tens of millions of pounds of investment we are planning in boosting and regenerating our market towns to help them recover from COVID-19 and prosper.
For permit holders who have had their pre-existing permit frozen, we will be in contact directly to reinstate permits.