Parking charges mooted in Biggleswade town centre as council seeks space for shoppers

Biggleswade town centre.

Biggleswade town centre. - Credit: Archant

Biggleswade Town Council is to start charging for parking in a move to try to stop people leaving their cars parked in its car parks for excessive periods and to ensure there is enough space for shoppers visiting the town centre.

There has been no effective regulation in the council’s car parks for 18 months since the contractor that was overseeing them pulled out.

Before that there were limits on time but no actual charges.

Biggleswade mayor Michael North said the move should help mean there is more space for shoppers using the town centre and hopes cars that are being left standing in car parks for long periods of time will be removed.

The council is about to put out its plans for a 28-day consultation to enforce time limits on stays in the car parks, introduce charges for stays over one hour, and a system of parking permits for town centre workers and residents.

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The maximum parking charge for any stay will be £2.50.

Details of how the permit system will operate, including conditions and charges, will be announced in the coming months.

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Mr North added: “The time limitations on parking in council car parks are not new but the old orders needed to be revised so that they can be properly enforced.”

The changes will come into effect in the first half of 2018..

A spokesperson for Biggleswade Town Council said “It is important to restore proper management of the car parks so that they work as a facility for all residents and visitors.

“The installation of necessary equipment, the associated service contract and the Town Council administrative service come at substantial cost and the council decided that at least part of this cost should be passed on to the people using the car parks rather than being borne by council taxpayers as a whole.”

Enforcement of the parking orders will be carried out through co-operation with Central Bedfordshire Council.

There has been much debate about the need to provide more parking in Biggleswade.

The town council believes space is at a premium an that shoppers are being put off coming into the town because of a lack of parking.

There has been talk of the possibility of a multi-storey car park and the town council has repeatedly put pressure on Central Beds to try to help it make improvements.

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