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Covid-19 measures brought in as free parking extended until end of July

  • Beehive Repairs

Work is underway to make borough council car parks in Loughborough more Covid-19 secure.

Charnwood Borough Council is installing contactless barriers and ticket machines at Beehive Lane and Granby Street car parks.

The Council has also committed to supporting local businesses for longer by keeping parking free in all council-owned car parks until the end of July, after which parking charges will be re-introduced.

Cllr Jenny Bokor, lead member for Loughborough, said: “We are pleased to be introducing contactless barriers and ticket machines and we hope they can be installed in the next couple of weeks.

“When combined with contactless payments, it means customers will not have to touch any buttons to enter the car parks or pay for parking at both Beehive Lane and Granby Street.

“We have also introduced social distancing requirements such as a one-way pedestrian system with signs, arrows and markings as we look to keep visitors, workers and shoppers using our facilities as safe as possible.”

The Council suspended parking charges in March when lockdown restrictions were brought in to make it easier for key workers to park.

The Council has not reinstated parking charges to help support local businesses by providing free parking as part of the initial recovery process.

However, the Council is losing around £75,000 a month in lost parking income. This funding is used to maintain the car parks and contribute towards other services including maintain our parks, street cleaning, enforcement, street furniture and environmental protection. These services have continued but income has dropped significantly.

The Council has also lost funding from other sources, including leisure centres, the town hall and fees and charges.

Cllr Bokor said: “We have provided free parking for as long as possible to help local businesses, but after this month it will be no longer sustainable. When contactless machines have been installed, the charges will be reinstated next month.

“Other areas have brought back charges before now and we have held on as long as we can.

“The Government has given us £1.9 million to cover lost income and extra costs incurred to respond to the pandemic but it will not cover all lost income and expense.

“Many other councils have brought charges back sooner, but we have held off as long as possible to bring in contactless barriers and to support local businesses.”

“We will continue to work with Love Loughborough, other partners, and business to lead the recovery of the borough.”