Chichester’s Sunday car park charges are a ‘tax on religion’

FEES Cattle Market car park
FEES Cattle Market car park

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CHURCH-goers have hit back at the introduction of Sunday parking charges in Chichester, labelling it a ‘tax on religion’.

Chichester District Council’s cabinet has been criticised for the charges, which will see a tariff of £1 for four hours and £2 for over four hours in long-stay car parks and the standard current tariff in short-stay car parks.

Ralph Apel, of Cedar Drive, Chichester, said: ‘As usual they who make the rules will not have to suffer the consequences. Putting aside the question of Sunday trading – and in these hard times, any stimulus to trade and employment is to be encouraged – there is one activity that will most assuredly be affected and that is Sunday worship in Chichester.’

The Rev John Collins of Exeter Road, Chichester, said the council should only charge after morning worship has ended.

He said: ‘This adds a burden on those wishing to worship in the city’s churches, especially the elderly on limited means.

‘It will not be long before street charges are added and also the free parking in county hall, the main car park for the cathedral since the Woolstaplers park was built over.’

The council also voted to support proposals to introduce franchised services in city car parks, to include car washing and valeting, windscreen repairs, advertising and exhibitions. But the idea of evening charges in the car parks has been dropped.