New hike in car parking charges for St Albans - a year after previous increase

Local traders gather in the Keyfield Terrace car park to protest the introduction of Sunday parking

Local traders gather in the Keyfield Terrace car park to protest the introduction of Sunday parking charges in St Albans several years ago. - Credit: Archant

Car parking charges across the district are going up again next month - one year after the last increase.

The rise largely affects stays of two hours or longer in the district’s car parks with increases of up to 20p for the longest parking periods.

Half hour and one hour stays in council-run car parks will remain the same and the all-day charge for Sundays is unchanged.

Charges are also going up in the Clarence Park car park in St Albans which has been blighted by all-day commuter parking because of its proximity to the station.

Up to three hours will remain free with a charge of £5.10 for up to five hours and £10.20 for up to 24 hours.

It is the second year that charges have been increased to pay for major investments in new pay machines and barriers in the car parks which are run by operators NCP on behalf of the council.

Cllr Beric Read, the council’s portfolio holder for community engagement and localism, said: “Car parking is a very important service for residents, businesses and visitors to the district and we are always looking to see if we need to make improvements.

Most Read

“Last year, a number of car parks were modernised, with some state-of-the-art pay machines being introduced, to make them more user friendly. We are continuing to look at improving the user experience.

“We are now looking closely at other issues such as improving car parking in Harpenden.”

Twenty more spaces are to be created by relining at Harpenden’s Amenbury Lane car park.

St Albans city centre manager, Richard Marrett, said that despite the rise, he did not feel that the charges in the district were so bad and compared favourably with the Intu Centre at Watford which did not have the same range of independent shops.

But he would like to see more free stop and go spaces for shoppers who want to dash into a shop and dash out again. He suggested such provision could be made in roads like Spencer Street, Waddington Road and even St Albans High Street.

Richard added: “What I want to dispel is the myth that there are no parking spaces. A space is always available even if you have to wait for 30 seconds to get one.”