Petition - Petition - Fareham Town Centre Parking Charges

Response from Hampshire County Council, June 2022

Thank you for your petition regarding the recently introduced parking changes to the High Street, Fareham.

Whilst I do understand your concerns, the on-street parking service across the Hampshire County Council administrative area has previously been operating at a substantial financial loss for many years. This situation was unable to continue and therefore the County Council is in the process of introducing changes to modernise the service with the aim of delivering the on-street parking function on a full cost recovery basis.

As you are aware, the new parking arrangements in the High Street still provide a period of free parking. This 20-minute period facilitates short stops, whilst increasing flexibility for those who wish to stay a little longer, up to 1 hour, provided they pay a modest fee. The £1 hourly charge is set at the same level as the nearby car parks that are also well used, despite not providing a free period of parking.

Before changes to the parking controls were made, detailed parking occupancy surveys were undertaken to establish the level of usage and how long people stayed for. From these surveys we were able to identify that a proportion of people overstayed the old 40-minute restriction, in some instances by a significant margin. Those who do overstay beyond the maximum permitted stay, reduce the likelihood of visitors being able to find a parking space in the High Street and the switch to pay and display parking helps overcome this as it’s far easier to enforce to new parking controls. I should add that the majority of people who use these spaces do so for short stops of up to 20 minutes meaning that the majority don’t actually need to pay to park.

So far the new parking controls are considered to be working well, with continued high usage, but we will continue to monitor the scheme and will be arranging repeat surveys for the High street in the coming weeks.

Yours sincerely

Councillor Edward Heron
Executive Lead Member for Transport and Environment Strategy