Vale Cabinet will review proposals to make car parking sustainable

Vale of White Horse District Council Cabinet is due to consider proposals to make the district car park more financially viable.

Municipal taxpayers have subsidized car parking in the valley for many years. It was costing taxpayers around £300,000 a year, and during Covid it rose to £450,000 a year.

By ensuring that free parking remains available, the proposals aim to balance support for downtown businesses, adequate parking supply, environmental concerns and financial sustainability.

Like councils across the country, the Vale faces significant financial pressures going forward and has also seen a significant drop in parking revenue as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Friday February 4, Cabinet members will consider steps the council could take to reduce the loss of car parks, including an option to replace the two-hour free parking in District Council car parks with a period of free parking for two hours. ‘one hour. This would be in line with the supply available in South Oxfordshire, but would still mean that parking in the Vale is still significantly cheaper than in Oxford.

Cllr Emily Smith, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: ‘Before making any decisions, we will consider very carefully what the proposals could mean for the council and our district, in particular any potential impact on residents. and businesses. .

“Like all councils, we face significant financial pressures in the coming years due to continued cuts in government funding, rising costs and loss of revenue due to Covid. The Vale also charges one of the lowest council tax rates in the country, so we have to carefully prioritize how we can best use our resources.

“We must also consider our commitment to addressing the climate emergency. By subsidizing car parks like we have, we are supporting the use of private cars, when many of our residents want to see more public transport and safer and easier cycling and walking routes.

Any changes to parking fees will be introduced later this year and will be widely publicized before they come into effect.

For more information, please consult the agenda of the Council of Ministers.

ENDS

Notes for Editors

Municipal funds and residents’ council tax subsidize car parks and further support comes from a central government grant known as the New Homes Bonus, which is based primarily on the construction of new homes in the area. However, without a firm commitment from government to extend this funding beyond 2023/24, the council must prepare for the possibility of it ending and take appropriate action now to protect vital services in the future.

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