Work begins in September for a ticketless payment system for Churchfields car park. There will be several options but most locals will probably choose to simply drive in – drive out and pay on account.
No longer will you have to guess your length of your stay. If you bump into a friend whilst shopping you can have a coffee or lunch without going to fill the meter. No need for coins either.
Unlike many car parks elsewhere you will not even have to pay on exit via a pay-station. You simply drive out.
Of course, non-locals will have to use a pay station – unless they choose to register their vehicle on account.
Although the new car park should be a great benefit to users it will cost the borough a loss in revenue of around £30,000 a year. This is currently what is collected from parking fines. With barriered pay on exit parking penalties will reduce almost to nothing.
Some might say that the borough should have increased the parking charges to cover the cost of the proposals. However, the Liberal Democrat led Elmbridge administration decided to recommend the full council agree this proposal without changing the charges in any way.
The main reason is that people might develop different parking habits from before and we felt it would be prudent to see what changes, if any, might be required.
Charge by the minute not the hour
So charges will remain at current levels. After a few months we will be able to assess the new usage pattern and new, more flexible, charging arrangements could be introduced – possible pay only for the minutes used rather than the mainly current hourly system. As ever, there will be consultations before any payment charge proposal are introduced.
We have reasonable confidence that once the barriers are installed the level of parking charge evasion will decrease to almost zero and therefore the revenue will increase by between 10% to 30%. We’ll see. As we get closer to the launch date we will be sending out more detailed information.