Wiltshire Council has said they will be reintroducing parking charges at all car parks and on residential and on-street parking areas in the county from Monday 1st June.
The council have said that NHS and care workers will continue to have free use of all council parking until further notice as long as supporting evidence is left in the windscreen, and valid parking permits and season tickets which were frozen in March will also restart on Monday with the nine week suspension period automatically added on to the end of the parking permits and season tickets.
Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways and transport, said: "As the government looks to return to a new normal, it is important we reintroduce parking charges and enforcement to ensure the highways and parking networks are working effectively.
"COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the council's budget, particularly in terms of lost income, and reinstating car parking charges will help us to continue to support our residents and businesses through these challenging times.
"Parking will continue to be free for NHS and care workers, but we would ask others to pay for parking using the digital permits system where possible and adhere to social distancing at all times."
Covid-19 has undoubtedly left the council in financial crisis with a £50M black hole in their finances however, this announcement has angered Cllr Robert Merrick, Mayor of Calne who feels it is an unnecessary move which isn't supporting the local shops who aim to relaunch their businesses after the lockdown.
In a post on social media yesterday Cllr Robert Merrick said:
"Wow! The shops aren’t yet open and guess what? Wiltshire Council is to reinstate parking charges. So goodbye High Street and thank you Wiltshire council for the final nail in the coffin for business.
"You are full of humanity. The start again on Monday. Remember Calne Town Council offers 2 hours free parking in the heritage car park."
People using car parks should note the following guidance to help keep staff and residents safe and ensure social distancing:
Cash will be accepted (change not given) at all car parks, but please pay using a digital permit or contactless if you can. Not all car parks accept contactless payments, but all accept digital permits.
Signage will be in place to let people know of the charges and also to remind people to ensure social distancing when using machines or walking in car parks.
Where possible, people should park leaving one space or more between cars to aid social distancing. This may not always be possible, but it may be achievable in quieter car parks.
For further information visit : http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/news/articles/parking-charges-to-be-reintroduced-at-all-wiltshire-council-car-parks