FAREHAM Borough Council is considering changes to how it runs its town centre car parks in a bid to boost the number of people who use them.
It is creating a new parking strategy for Fareham as it looks at how best to use the 2,175 spaces.
Although the central Market Quay car park runs at 98 per cent full on Saturdays, that figure drops to about two-thirds in the week. And other car parks have much lower figures.
The figures in the council report also include analysis of the impact of the new Tesco store, which opened last November and which has free parking. However, it shows the store has proved to have only a small impact on council-run car parks.
Under-used sites such as the Malthouse Lane and Trinity Street car parks could see their fees cut from £1 an hour to 70p an hour – Malthouse Lane only sees about 30 of its 99 spaces taken on weekdays.
The council’s strategic planning policy will look at the plans tonight.
Panel chairman Cllr John Bryant said: ‘This is basically a bit of fine-tuning.
‘It’s to make it easier for people to use our car parks and we have got to try and adjust things so that people can do that.’
The number of season tickets sold has also declined over the last two years – with a recent consultation showing that many people were unaware they were available.
In a bid to reverse the trend, the council is planning to market them to local businesses, with a suggested discount of 20 per cent for bulk buys.
Cllr Bryant added: ‘We have been getting the impression that a lot of people don’t know about them, which is why we’re not getting the take-up rate we want.’
No change is expected to be made for Market Quay car park, which is £1.50 an hour, Osborn Road and Fareham Shopping Centre multi-storey car parks, which charge £1 an hour.
The council has already removed a £25 penalty charge for staying longer than five hours at the start of this month. The panel’s recommendations will go to the ruling executive which will make a decision at its meeting on December 3.