Town’s initiative sees off push for pay parking pilot in Hitchin

North Herts District Councillor Julian Cunningham.

North Herts District Councillor Julian Cunningham. - Credit: Archant

Determined lobbying has seen controversial proposals to charge for Sunday and evening parking in Hitchin scrapped.

There are delays on the A602 between Hitchin and Stevenage after a sports car left the road and coll

There are delays on the A602 between Hitchin and Stevenage after a sports car left the road and collided with a fence. - Credit: Archant

When members of North Herts District Council’s cabinet met on Monday night they voted not to apply the scheme, which has been described as a pilot for the district.

But there will be a full review of prices at car parks across the district, they say.

Councillor Julian Cunningham, who has responsibility for car parks as part of his transport brief, said: “Apart from me, the proposal to charge for Sundays and evenings got zero support.

“It is now not the plan to introduce it in Hitchin.”

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Moran Norgan of Hitchin Initiative said: “We are delighted that the council has dropped plans to introduce Sunday and evening charging in Hitchin.

“This positive outcome is a shining example of local democracy in action and genuine partnership working.

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“The original proposal was ill-conceived. However the open approach of the portfolio holder to a sound and reasoned alternative has been much appreciated.”

The council said: “After giving full consideration to views expressed during the extended consultation with Hitchin area committee and Hitchin’s town centre management the car parking tariff proposals for Hitchin have been revised.

“It has been agreed not to introduce Sunday and evening charging.”

Tariff increases across Hitchin, Letchworth and Royston have been calculated on a car park-by-park basis and include freezing the one-hour charge across the majority of car parks, and reducing the tariffs at the Lairage multi-storey car park in Hitchin on a trial basis to encourage more motorists to make use of them.

Councillor Cunningham added: “We’re planning to carry out a full review of parking operations across the district in the near future and pay on exit technology will be one of the options considered.

“However, we have no current plans to introduce pay on exit technology in any of our car parks.

“Any future proposals would be subject to a full business case.”

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