Charging in car parks across Chichester District was suspended on 24 March as an emergency measure when the coronavirus lockdown period was introduced, to help essential workers and volunteers carry out their duties to support the community.  Charges will be resumed in council-owned car parks on 8 June, however there will be a number of new initiatives in place.

The council will continue to offer free car parking for NHS and social care workers in Northgate car park, Chichester - which is close to St Richard's Hospital - until April 2021, while incentives being introduced include:

  • free parking at the Avenue de Chartres multi-storey car park every Saturday and Sunday, and
  • one hour's free parking when purchasing two hours if using the MiPermit app (which is available in all car parks, except for Westgate Leisure Centre and Avenue de Chartres).

Both these incentives will be in place for three months, and then reviewed.

Parking machines and equipment will be cleaned and sanitised more regularly, while customers will be encouraged to buy season tickets or use the MiPermit app or contactless method to pay for their parking in order to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection.

"Parking charges are vital in helping with turnover of spaces in our most popular car parks as well as covering the cost of the service and making a very important contribution to many other key council services," explains Councillor Martyn Bell, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration at Chichester District Council. "As a council we wanted to be able to support NHS workers and care workers by offering a period of free parking to enable them to carry out their work safely.

"Our parking team has been looking at how best to reintroduce parking charges in order to support council services, while also ensuring our car parks are as safe as possible for customers. Using the MiPermit app will help hugely with social distancing in our car parks as customers will not need to use the parking machines. We are also encouraging people to buy a season ticket for those car parks where these are in place which will also save customers money, as well as help with social distancing.

"As each of our car parks is different, we are examining each site separately to see what social distancing requirements are needed, and we have also been working on special signage which will be installed."

"This is a very sensible package of measures. We've deliberately waited before reintroducing charges. The incentives will help people feel safe and give people more time to do their shopping while meeting social distancing guidelines. The free weekend parking at Avenue de Chartres multi-storey car park is aimed at helping our shops in the city."

For more information and updates about the council's car parks and the MiPermit scheme, please see the Parking web pages. 

Date of release: 3 June 2020

Reference: 3883