City parking charges cut from Monday in response to outcry
NEW parking charges will be in place across Nottingham's streets from Monday.
The overhaul follows outcry from businesses after evening and Sunday charges were introduced at the end of last year.
From Monday people will be able to park on the city's streets for as long as they want – rates start at £1 for half an hour in zone one, an hour in zone two and two hours in zone three.
From 6pm to 8pm it will cost £1 to park in central Nottingham and then it is free after 8pm.
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This means people can park in the city all evening from 6pm for just £1 without moving the car.
On Sundays it will be £1 for the day in zones two and three, but motorists will be charged by the hour in zone one.
For the first time the maximum stay on street parking will be removed, although it would cost £24 to park for 12 hours in zone one.
Councillor Nick McDonald, of Nottingham City Council, said: "These changes have been made in conjunction with city centre businesses, and in response to views widely expressed that parking in the city centre should be simpler, and should encourage people to visit the city. We agree with that.
"We hope that independent shops, theatres and restaurants will particularly benefit."
The Nottingham Retail and Leisure Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) carried out a parking study, which the council says contributed to the decision over new prices.
Jeff Allen, chairman of the Retail BID, said: "New, simplified and more flexible charges and waiting times for on-street parking could give the city a significant boost.
"In this economic climate particularly, city centre businesses need all the help they can get to attract customers.
"Parking can't be a barrier to visiting somewhere and so the removal of maximum stay is particularly helpful."
Businesses and churches complained about bringing parking charges in on Sundays and between 6pm and 8pm during the week.
Tony Verma, the owner of Nottingham's oldest Asian restaurant, Laguna Tandoori in Mount Street, said the parking charge changes had an impact on his nearly 40-year-old restaurant.
"When it first came into effect it had a marked effect on us, I must admit," he said.
"People find that on principle they don't want to pay for parking after six o'clock.
"If the council would encourage people to come to the city centre, we would do a lot better. That has been my real bugbear."
However, the new plans have been welcomed by businesses in the city.
Jasmin Barlow-Wilkinson, owner of Homemade cafe in Pelham Street, said: "As long as they really promote the new system then I think it will be really good.
"They're changing it at a good time because winter is when people want to drive because it's miserable and cold.
"It's a shame it has taken a year. I think it's better because it's not restrictive – not having a maximum stay means people can choose where they park and it's much, much cheaper at night."