Hampshire County Council scraps plans to centralise parking across the county

PLANS to centralise all parking charges and permits across Hampshire have been put on ice.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 12:28 pm

Earlier this week, The News reported that Hampshire County Council was proposing to take responsibility for parking - something currently managed by district councils, with a few exceptions.

But prior to a decision being made at a decision day meeting yesterday afternoon, the proposals were withdrawn.

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The council says the proposals will be brought back later this year. Picture: Gerard Binks

The decision has come to the relief of Liberal Democrat, Cllr Martin Tod, who opposed the plans.

As the party's spokesman for economy, transport and environment, he said: ‘These proposals were never fit for purpose and it's good that following opposition and district council pressure they've now been withdrawn.

‘Now we need a joined-up plan that isn't just about hiking prices and cutting services.

‘It has to make sure on-street car parking and car parks work together - and also centre on the challenges of supporting our local centres, being fair value for residents, ensuring cost effective enforcement and taking on the air quality and climate change challenges that we all face across the county.’

In 2020, the county council took control of parking services in Gosport, Fareham, Test Valley and the New Forest.

Since then, plans for new pay-and-display areas have been put forward in Fareham, Lee-on-the-Solent and Lymington.

The county council has confirmed that proposals have now been taken back to the drawing board.

A spokesman for Hampshire County Council said: ‘The decision was made to withdraw the Parking Agency Agreement Report from the agenda for the Economy, Transport and Environment Decision Day held on September 23, following further information and issues being brought to our attention by colleagues at the district and borough authorities.

‘Simultaneously, very recent developments in terms of the implications of the rollout, beyond London, of part six of the Traffic Management Act - in respect of powers for civil enforcement of traffic offences – must also, rightly, be fully taken into account.

‘Recalling the paper ahead of any decision-making procedure will allow time for additional due consideration to be given and enable further discussion with our colleagues at the partner authorities. Following this, the report with recommendations will be updated accordingly to reflect the outcome.

‘This will be brought forward for a decision at a future economy, transport and environment decision day and the aim is that this will be before the end of the current calendar year.’

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