Charges at a number of Worthing town centre multi-storey car parks are due to be increased by the council in the new year.
The tariff for up to one hour visits to the High Street, Grafton, and Buckingham Road locations will stay at £1, but two and three hour stays will be 30p more expensive, priced at £2.30 and £3.60 respectively.
Stays of up to four hours will increase from £4 to £4.80, while visits of up to five hours will rise by a £1 to £6. All day parking will remain at £10.
Meanwhile increases are also planned for the Lyndhurst Road Car Park as up to one hour stays will be 10p more expensive at £1.30, two-hour stays up 20p to £2.30, three-hour visits up from £3.20 to 3.50, for four hours up from £4.30 to £4.70, up to five hours from £5.60 to £5.90, while the all-day charge will rise from £6.70 to £7.60.
Worthing Borough Council currently generates £2.48million of income a year from its town car parks and the changes are set to make another £200,000 a year.
This extra money is proposed to help-fund multi-million pound upgrades to a number of the council’s car parks.
Diane Guest, the council’s executive member for environment, said: “We know that having sufficient high quality parking is critical to Worthing’s local economy - not only are multi-storeys quite often the first thing visitors see, but they also help reduce congestion in the town centre.
“That’s why it’s vital that we up our game and ensure that our car parks are welcoming, safe, and accessible to all.
“This would be the first price increase since we brought the off-street car parks back in house in 2014. But we have ensured they remain competitive and represent value for money.”
Money has been spent on upgrading the lighting at the High Street and Buckingham Road car parks, alongside plans to redecorate their public areas, improve signs and security, and upgrade payment technology.
New lifts in Buckingham Road, and new CCTV at all sites are also proposed.
Teville Gate’s multi-storey car park is due to be demolished as part of redevelopment of the wider area, while options to redevelop the Grafton car park are being progressed.
The council brought the running of the car parks back ‘in-house’ from NCP in 2014 and reduced the rates from £1.70 an hour and have remained at that level since.
Customers would still be able to enjoy £1 per hour for up to four hours on Saturdays and free parking on Sundays at the Civic Centre Car Park behind Worthing Town Hall.
The popular £1 tariff for the first hour will remain while prices will still be lower than on street parking for up to two hours (the maximum length of on street parking in central Worthing).
The proposals will be subject to consultation with key stakeholders including West Sussex County Council and Sussex Police.
Chris Coopey, president of Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce, said: “Worthing has been in the fortunate position to not have any issues about the cost of parking since 2014.
“There is a general feel that we need to see improvements in the car parks in respect to safety, lighting and an improved appearance which hopefully the slight increase in parking costs that has been proposed can allow to happen.
“In comparison with our competitor destinations, even with the proposed rises Worthing represents really good value.”
Chris Spratt, chairman of Worthing’s Town Centre Initiative, added: “I’m delighted to learn the council has committed to carry out some much needed investment into the car parks.
“We are very keen to see investment in improving the customer experience when visiting Worthing. It is unfortunate that the cost of parking is increasing but I’m pleased the council has been astute enough to keep the costs lower than equivalent parking in nearby towns.
“The TCI has agreed to partner with the council in looking at ways to improve the appearance of the car parks to provide a positive welcome to the town.”
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