From 28 March Mid Sussex District Council will implement a new flexible season ticket offer and increase car parking charges in line with inflation.
Changes to car park season tickets, which are mainly used by town centre workers and commuters will better match new customer behaviour. The pandemic has dramatically changed the way people work, with many more people working flexibly from home and office and this has had an impact on the demand for season tickets. A flexible 3-day season ticket is being introduced to fit in with these new working habits
Public sector organisations across the UK are facing serious financial challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In local government, the financial cost of supporting communities through the pandemic has been huge. Even with additional funding from the Government, the cost to Mid Sussex District Council was £1.9 million during the 2020/21 financial year and Covid-19 will continue to have a significant impact on the Council’s finances over the coming years.
Parking charges in Mid Sussex Pay and Display car parks have remained the same for the past ten years, which means they have not kept pace with inflation or rising management and maintenance costs.
Mid Sussex District Council is increasing parking charges to help protect essential public services and to enable continued investment in the parking estate, including in new technologies to improve customer service. This will mean parking for one hour will increase from 80p to £1. This increase will generate around £350,000 each year.
Mid Sussex is currently one of the cheapest places to park in the region when compared to neighbouring Council areas and this will continue to be the case with the new charges. For comparison Parking for 2 hours in a Mid Sussex District Council car park will cost a maximum of £1.50 compared with £1.80 in Lewes, £2 in Crawley and £2.80 in Horsham.
Councillor Stephen Hillier, MSDC Cabinet Member for Economic Growth said:
“Our parking charges have remained frozen for the past decade and by bringing them back in line with inflation we will be able to support our key statutory services while also investing in the modernisation of our car parks.
“The decision to increase parking charges is not one we take lightly, but we must make some tough choices over the next few years if we are to effectively manage our budget and recover from the effects of this awful pandemic.”
“The financial pressures created on council finances by the coronavirus pandemic are here to stay for the foreseeable future. We must plan ahead if we are to protect our services and safeguard the long-term sustainability of the Council.”