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Views on Draft Parking Policy

Published Wednesday 1 November, 2023
Last updated on Thursday 22 February, 2024

People are being asked their views on how Swale Borough Council (SBC) runs their parking services.

Last night (Tuesday 31 October), the council’s community committee agreed on the draft Parking Policy which sets out how the council will provide an efficient parking service which seeks to be fair, consistent and transparent.

Setting out targets such as:

  • improving safety for road users
  • assist in the smooth flow of traffic to reduce congestion
  • balancing demand and supply for parking spaces across the borough
  • encourage the use of sustainable methods of transport
  • safeguard the needs and requirements of residents, businesses and visitors
  • improving accessibility to the town centre for all members of the public.

Daytime charges are currently offered in period bands, but overnight, fixed priced charging can be considered.

This will help balance the increasing costs of operating and maintaining the car parks while giving residents more choice on payment options.

Free car parks, usually in more rural or remote locations, are reviewed often and charges may be applied depending on usage and popularity.

This would allow the council to consider charging different rates per hour depending on the location, popularity and convenience of car parks.

Meaning the most popular car parks could be more expensive which will provide an incentive for people to use the less popular car parks.

Any changes to parking charges will be decided by councillors while setting out the budget and the council will consider usage data and compare prices with other local authorities and nearby competitors before making any decisions.

Income from the borough’s car parks form part of the council’s overall income and contributes to the budget, allowing us to deliver more services.

Several car parks will have the option to purchase a quarterly season ticket, which will help people spend less if they use the car parks regularly.

The draft policy also focuses on ways to make the service more environmentally friendly.

Cllr Richard Palmer said:

“Car parks around the borough allow people to enjoy the amazing high streets and attractions Swale has to offer, such as our beautiful beaches.

“This draft parking policy looks to shape how we manage them and puts emphasis on wanting to be open and cooperative with the community about any possible changes.

“It is important to remember that the income generated from the car parks form part of our wider budget, helping us balance the books.

“Councils around the country are struggling financially and it is our top priority to make sure we aren’t amongst them, this means we may need to make tough decisions.

“It is key for us to have an understanding of what you think about our policy, please give us your feedback and have your voice heard.”

Consultations begin on 1 November 2023 and ends on 2 January 2024.

Read the draft policy and have your say here:

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