Kettering's pandemic parking fee suspension to come to an end
Parking charges will be reinstated from Monday
Motorists will no longer be able to park for free in Kettering's council-run car parks when charges are reinstated on Monday (August 9).
Fees to park were suspended during the first Covid lockdown in March last year by the now-defunct Kettering Borough Council, a move which has remained in place ever since.
Originally introduced the help key workers, the parking charge suspension was extended to encourage footfall as the town centre gradually reopened.
But with almost all Covid restrictions lifted North Northamptonshire Council has today (Wednesday) announced charges to park will begin again on Monday.
Every car park charges £6 for more than five hours with prices for shorter stays varying depending on the car park.
In London Road it is £1.50 for up to two hours, in Commercial Road it is £2 for up to two hours and in Municipal Road it is £1 for up to one hour. Each car park also has bands for stays of up to three, four and five hours.
Cllr Graham Lawman, executive member for highways, travel and assets, said: “With the health situation starting to normalise and restrictions easing, we’re seeing more traffic returning to our roads and so we will be reintroducing charges at the March 2020 rates in all of the town’s public car parks.
“As we encourage people back into the town to work and socialise, we need to manage demand for spaces and to ensure a steady throughput of traffic with all motorists, particularly shoppers and town centre visitors, getting fair access to parking spaces, especially at a time when London Road car park has reduced capacity.
“We appreciate parking fees will never be popular, but we hope people understand that the fees are entirely reinvested into the upkeep of the car parks ensuring they are safe and accessible.
"We have agreed to look at an overall parking strategy for north Northamptonshire, which reflects upon our manifesto promises. This consultation process will commence shortly.”
Long-term plans for car parking charges have not yet been decided by North Northamptonshire Council, which was formed after former borough councils and the county council were dissolved and replaced with the unitary authority.
Kettering Borough Council and Corby Borough Council charged for parking, but East Northamptonshire Council and Wellingborough Council did not.
Cllr Martin Griffiths, the former leader of Wellingborough Council, proposed that all council car parks in north Northamptonshire were made free.
North Northamptonshire Council agreed to consider it to improve our town centres.