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Car parking update from North Herts Council

28 September 2021
Royston Civic Centre car park

Pay on exit trial scheme under investigation, improved EV charging infrastructure being developed and new parking charges to be introduced.

North Herts Council is investigating ways to boost town centre businesses such as introducing pay on exit systems in its car parks, improving its EV charging infrastructure and has also announced changes to its charging levels, which will be introduced next month.

The Council is looking into the viability of a trial pay on exit parking scheme in one of its car parks as a proof of concept and hopes to announce further details in the coming months, a similar proof of concept project is being investigated for EV Charging in Council Car Parks.

Cllr Sam Collins, North Herts Council’s Executive Member for Executive Member for Enterprise, the Arts and Transport said:

“One of the things we hear often from residents and businesses is that they have to rush back to their cars as their parking tickets are running out when they would rather spend more time in town spending money. Moving to pay on exit will mean that people will only pay for the amount of time that they park and that will really help boost business in our towns.”

“Due to the coronavirus lockdowns and reduced travel the Council suffered a significant loss in parking revenues and although the Government said they would cover this shortfall and that hasn’t happened.

"We are continuing to invest in our car parks locally, including installing new more reliable and far more energy efficient lifts in the Lairage Car Park in Hitchin, we have upgraded our existing pay and display machines to contactless. Pay By Phone is available for use, which allows users to top up their stay without returning to their vehicle.

"It is important though that we do not only focus on conventional parking solutions, as it has become extremely clear recently we are overly reliant on fossil fuels, and to address this we are actively looking at ways to improve and increase our electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the area.”

Cllr Nigel Mason, North Herts Council’s Deputy Executive Member for Executive Member for Enterprise, the Arts and Transport said:

“We feel that it is important to take steps to help local business in our area, and investigating changes to the way that we charge for parking is the right thing to do. The increase in parking charges is set against the need to manage demand for off street parking and to encourage more sustainable forms of transport, a great example of that is the new Herts Lynx bus service, a project initiated by North Herts Council last year.”

The Council will announce more details on the Pay on Exit trial in the coming months, and a further update on its EV charging infrastructure scheme will also follow. The new parking charges will come into force from Monday 25 October 2021.

In order to aid recovery in our town centres the cost to park for up to one hour will remain the same at all of our car parks; the ‘cheaper after 3’ tariffs in Hitchin, whereby visitors can purchase three hours of parking for the price of one, will also remain unchanged.

All but one of the prices for the remaining tariffs will increase by 20p or less, with some increasing by just 5p. The cost of season tickets will rise by 6%, equating to a £5 increase on a 1-month Season Ticket and a £43 increase on a 12-month Season ticket over the current 2019/20 prices.