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Some council car park fees to change from April 1

New fees for car parks in South Oxfordshire are being introduced from April 1.

The council car park fees across South Oxfordshire are being simplified and given in whole pounds while all council car parks will continue to have a period of free parking.  This means some of the fees are being reduced by up to 16 percent while other will see modest increases. Parking permits rates have also been frozen.

The additional parking income from the rises means we can match the cost of managing and running our car parks, otherwise we’d have to divert funding from other council services to subsidise car parking.

All funds from council car parking fees and permits are invested back into providing the service and making improvements to council car parks, highways, public conveniences and public open spaces, as well as developing infrastructure to encourage active travel – such as cycle paths and bike storage.

Parking for the first hour remains free in all Didcot, Thame and Henley public car parks.

Councillor Sue Cooper, South Oxfordshire District Council Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “It is always a difficult balance between supporting our local traders, ensuring we have enough revenue to invest in maintaining our car parks, and encouraging people to swap their cars for walking, bikes or buses when possible which would help improve air quality.

“I believe this is reflected in our decision to keep the hour’s free parking in our car parks in Didcot, Thame and Henley, while we have tried to keep increases modest wherever possible.”

There is a growing body of evidence that shows the number of car parking spaces available is a bigger factor in encouraging people to a town centre than the price of parking.

Research shows customers value the certainty of being able to park when and where they want to, and convenience is a quality for which most people are willing to pay.

It also shows that while business owners believe that as cost increases, footfall decreases, in fact, the towns/cities with the highest footfall generally have higher than average parking charges.

Furthermore, fair car park charges can help ensure that parking spaces frequently turn over, increasing overall footfall.

You can see the full fees on our parking policy webpage.