Exhibition to look at possible new Hitchin parking strategies

St Mary's Square car park in Hitchin. Picture: Harry Hubbard

St Mary's Square car park in Hitchin. Picture: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

New possible new system for Hitchin’s parking strategy will be exhibited in the town centre next week.

Hitchin town centre manager Keith Hoskins. Picture: Danny Loo

Hitchin town centre manager Keith Hoskins. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

Car parks in Hitchin are mostly run by North Hertfordshire District Council at locations such as St Mary’s Square and Portmill Lane, on a pay-and-display basis – but town centre manager Keith Hoskins says it is time for a 21st-century approach.

The Hitchin BID has therefore invited Parkeon to bring their exhibition trailer to Market Place next Wednesday, September 27, ahead of the BID’s annual meeting that evening.

Mr Hoskins says the idea is to “help give the district council the evidence to make a better-informed decision”.

He said: “Hitchin contributes a huge amount of parking money to the district council, and it’s the commercial centre of the district.

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“But how often do we hear customers saying that they have to rush back to the car park as their time is running out?

“Parkeon can offer alternative systems like pay-on-foot and automatic number plate recognition.

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“It’s an opportune time to look at this, with the district council looking at car parking strategy at the moment. The exhibition trailer will be there for members of the public to take a look and maybe offer their own suggestions as to how to improve the parking service – and I’m hoping the district council’s portfolio holder Ray Shakespeare-Smith will drop by.

“We need to move away from visitors having to fumble around in their pockets for change on cold, wet and sometimes dark mornings and afternoons. In these days of technology, there must be a better way of doing it. A 21st-century solution is needed, I think.

“Before it’s asked – no, it will never be free to park in Hitchin as it contributes a great deal to the depleted coffers of local government.”

The Parkeon trailer will be in Market Place from 2pm to 6pm next Wednesday.

The BID’s annual meeting will start at 6pm, and is open to all Hitchin BID levy payers.

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