Consultation on evening parking charges in Southampton

Southampton City Council has reviewed last year’s decision to remove evening parking charges

West Park Car Park from the outside. A car is driving along the road in front of it.

The review looked at current levels of parking in the evening and comparing with other similar local authority areas such as Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, Brighton and Basingstoke as well as businesses within Southampton City Centre.

The reason for parking charges is to control the demand ensuring that parking bays are not taken over by one person or group. Where charges are required during the day period to manage city centre parking, local authorities may look to consider charges in the evening for the same reason. Demand has increased over the last year as the city recovers from Covid-19 and demand has now reached a point where the time is now right to reintroduce evening parking charges so that parking demand and spaces can be managed.

This approach is followed by large towns and cities with a busy night-time economy while private businesses within the city centre have kept evening charges.

The Council is proposing the following evening charges:

  • On Street Charging Period 6pm to 8pm - £0.50 per 30 minutes
  • Off Street Charging Period 6pm to midnight - £1 for the first hour, £2 for stays longer than an hour

A 21-day consultation will start on 29 July 2022. At the end of the consultation period, the Council will take any views on board and decide whether to go ahead with the proposals by means of a Cabinet decision.

While parking tariffs are not used to raise revenue, anything additional from on-street parking is used for transport related spending.

Cabinet Member for Transport and District Regeneration, Councillor Eamonn Keogh, said:

“As a Council we are committed to making however you choose to get around the city safer and more accessible. There is currently no evidence to suggest that free evening parking charges have either directly resulted in growing the local economy or made parking more accessible. At the time, consultation results also showed a majority being against the decision made by the previous administration. Since we have seen those wanting and needing to park finding it harder and there has been a greater desire towards more affordable public transport instead. Therefore, as a new administration we believe it is right and fitting to review the decision on parking charges and will make a decision after the consultation is complete. We are also investing in making bus travel cheaper, so family and friends can travel and visit our great city centre.”

To share your views on the Evening Parking Charges please visit Connecting Southampton.