A new set of parking charge bands in Kettering will be introduced next week.
From April 3 (Tuesday), the changes will take effect in all six Kettering Council car parks: London Road, Municipal Offices, Queen Street, School Lane, Wadcroft and Commercial Road.
The tariffs, as we revealed last year, will largely stay the same but will see new ‘pound per hour’ charges for some users.
Currently, anyone staying for more than three hours is charged £6. Under the new charges, shoppers will pay £3 (three hours), £4 (four hours), £5 (five hours) and £6 (all day).
Cllr Mark Dearing, Kettering Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “Kettering Council’s car parks are the safest and most convenient way of parking close to the town centre shops, restaurants and amenities.
“These changes to our parking charges offer more choice for customers to enjoy their stay in the town.”
There will also be a change to the Saturday charging hours, which will now start an hour later at 9am.
New signage will also clearly state that it is free to park on every Sunday and all bank holidays.
Shirley Plenderleith, head of public services at Kettering Council, said: “The new parking charges give visitors more choice about their length of stay without it costing any more money.
“We’ve also moved back our Saturday morning start time to give anyone that has left their car overnight an extra hour.”
Kettering Council has previously come under fire for having some of the most expensive charges in the area.
When the changes were announced last year, opposition leader Cllr Mick Scrimshaw said they were the ‘smallest possible changes’ and that local residents would be disappointed.
The council has also announced it has allocated a number of free parking days throughout the year to support local events.
These include August 3, 10 and 17 during Kettering by the Sea and July 14 for Kettfest.
Free parking will also apply for Christmas shopping all day on December 1, 8, 15 and 22 and after 3pm on December 6, 13 and 20.