People visiting busy tourist areas in Dorset will have to pay more to park from 28 April.
The rates will be seasonal, with some only increasing for the spring/summer period.
Some on-street pay and display rates will increase for non-permit holders on busy seafront roads. Prices in the council’s other car parks will not rise, except for some six hour stays in multi-use car park areas used by larger vehicles such as coaches, large motorhomes and lorries.
The full list of new rates can be found on the Dorset Council website.
There will be no increase in the cost of on-street parking permits for residents, and Short Stay and Flexi car park permit prices remain the same.
Tickets purchased in the afternoon for longer than the chargeable period in that day will roll over into the next day, after free overnight parking.
Car park charging periods will remain at 8am to 6pm, Monday to Sunday, inclusive, unless specified as 24 hours.
Following feedback, new multi-day tickets will enable holidaymakers to buy one ticket that can cover the whole of their stay, rather than having to purchase a new ticket every day.
There will also be a new three-hour option in short stay car parks that were previously limited to two hours.
Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “We have designed the tariff increases so they have the least impact on Dorset residents and workers, while bringing in extra income to help us meet the rising costs of running our parking service and maintaining our car parks.
“The increases are limited to those car parks mainly used by visitors to the area, and encourage people to stay longer to enjoy all Dorset has to offer. When setting the new prices, we ran a comparison with charges in neighbouring areas and similar visitor destinations and our car parks are still some of the cheapest.
“We have also frozen charges for residents’ permits and the prices of our short stay and flexi use car park permits are unchanged.”
All car park and on-street pay and display machines are being replaced across the Dorset Council area, with completion this summer.
The new machines provide customers with more payment options, including cash, card, Apple Pay and Google Pay and online app. Wi-Fi will also be improved in car parks with poor phone signals.
Cllr Bryan said: “We understand the importance of ensuring that all payment methods are as easy and convenient as possible, so we’re taking steps to address any potential connectivity issues. Any car parks with poor phone signal will be fitted with Wi-Fi hotspots, allowing customers to connect and make payment quickly and securely.”
Behind the scenes, the council has changed the way customers can enquire about parking-related matters, so queries are dealt with quickly.
In late 2022, a new permit was made available for qualifying Blue Badge holders, allowing them to park free of charge in the council’s car parks for up to three hours.
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