Parking prices could rise at car parks in Stevenage against a “challenging” economic backdrop. If Stevenage Borough Council were to continue with this year’s budget come the next financial year, costs would outstrip income and the authority would face a budget shortfall of £1.54million.
The council has had to find cumulative savings of £11million since 2010/11, according to an executive committee report. To balance the books, borough leaders will consider raising some parking tariffs at a meeting on Thursday, October 12.
“Commercialisation and fees and charges are essential tools in addressing future budget gaps and mitigating pressures,” council officers wrote in the report. “Looking to 2024/25, the council will continue to incur increased running and resource costs and has considered each area of fees and charges on a case-by-case basis.”
The report continues: “This approach will support services in reducing the cost of delivery and where possible, enable them to achieve break-even positions where appropriate. The council will continue to optimise resources, will actively seek new commercial opportunities and will review existing investments with a view to maximising the commercial return from them, in order to support the council’s wider services. The council will ensure that all commercial actions and decisions are ethical in nature and have a positive impact on the community, delivering additional social value and contributing to community wealth building where possible.”
First look: Prices rising and falling
Stevenage Borough Council’s executive will consider raising most fees at the Forum, St George’s Way, Westgate, Daneshill, Southgate and Swingate car parks. But not all tariffs would go up, as Stevenage Borough Council could slash the price of more-than-five-hour parking at the Forum and Westgate – to £6.50 from £9.
If the changes are agreed, a stay of up to six hours at the railway car park would cost £7. Stays between six and 24 hours could rise from £10 to £11, but Sunday parking for any length of time could fall – from £7.50 to £4.
In the Old Town, some Primett Road North parking prices could fall, so the maximum charge which drivers face in a day drops from £8 to £3.50. The 4pm until 6am evening tariff would double – from 50p to £1.
Free parking in Church Lane – between Saturday 4pm until Monday 6am – would end, with a new £1 charge. Some on-street tariffs would rise, by £1 at most, but motorists will be able to park for up to five hours and pay £6.60 – down from £11.