Plans are being made on when to reintroduce parking charges in West Lindsey

Motorists could soon have to pay for parking again in West Lindsey as town centres find a new normal following the easing of Government restrictions.

A meeting has been held to discuss the reintroduction of parking charges
A meeting has been held to discuss the reintroduction of parking charges

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus parking charges were suspended.

As the Covid-19 lockdown has now been partially lifted and it is expected that many of retail properties who are able to operate safely will open on June 15.

With this is mind West Lindsey District Council’s Corporate Policy and Resources Committee is having a meeting on Thursday, June 18, to discuss the reintroduction of parking charges.

There is a view that by introducing car parking charges too soon, economic recovery locally may be hampered, albeit there are one hour and two hour free policies for Gainsborough.

Any decision will have financial consequences for the council as the council’s annual car parking income, including penalty notices is budgeted at £294,400.

The council is evaluating three options for reinstating parking charges for Gainsborough and Market Rasen car parks.

These are to reintroduce parking charges with effect from July 1, reintroduce parking charges with effect from October 1 or reintroduce parking charges with effect from April 1, 2021.

In the meantime, charges have not been reintroduced.

It is expected that one of the effects of the pandemic is there will be more home working within the council and probably on a wider basis, in the medium to long term.

Parking permits are currently offered at a discounted basis for regular car park users who wish to take advantage of the discounted rates and also have the convenience of pre-payment in that they can park without making a payment action every time they park.

In the event of increased home-working it is likely permit holders will find the permit is not economically viable for their own circumstances and may cancel their permits.

While this would reduce permit income, it is inevitable that parking income overall will reduce if users work from home more frequently, and they will probably make their choice of payment method based upon their cheapest solution.

Consideration has also been given to offering a reduced permit charge.

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