Changes to Chester city centre car parks will give motorists more flexibility

25 November 2015

Cheshire West and Chester Council will be changing the main Chester city centre car park systems from Monday, 30 November.

Six of the ten car parks that currently operate as ‘pay and display’ will be converted to ‘pay on exit’. These are Market, Trinity Street, Watergate Street, Little Roodee, Garden Lane and Brook Street. 

When the conversion is complete, the car parks will be barrier-controlled and, instead of paying on arrival, motorists will pay before leaving the car park. This means that, instead of having to guess how long they will be in the car park, they simply pay at the end for the length of stay.

This change will also provide increased flexibility by offering motorists a wider range of payment methods including cash, card, account payment and smartcard options.

Permit and season pass holders will be able to enter and exit the car parks through automatic number plate recognition (ANPR).

The Council is ensuring that all Blue Badge holders who are borough residents will still be able to park for four hours free, thanks to a special microchip sticker.

The free sticker, which contains an electronic chip, will need to be attached to the badge itself.

An on-line application form for the sticker is available on the Council website at: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk (Search for “Blue Badge sticker” or “Parking”)

After submitting their application, Blue Badge holders can take their badge to one of three locations in Chester to have the microchip fitted: the Forum, Dial House on Hamilton Place or Dial House Shopmobility on Frodsham Street.

On arrival at the car park the chipped Blue Badge can be presented at the entrance and exit barriers to allow entry and exit within four hours.  Parking over four hours will require a payment and charges are shown on signage within each car park.

The chip can also be pre-loaded with money, similar to an oyster (top-up) card, allowing the holder to enter and exit the car park without using the payment machines offering easier use for drivers with disabilities.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Community, Councillor Mark Henesy said: “This is part of the Council’s £650,000 investment in modern payment technology for Chester’s car parks to increase flexibility and ease of use.

“Cheshire West and Chester Council take pride in access to facilities for disabled people in our borough.  We are one of the first local authorities in the country to offer this facility to Blue Badge holders in pay on exit car parks.” The first car parks to switch over to ‘pay on exit’ will be Market, Trinity Street and Watergate Street, followed by Little Roodee and then Brook Street and Garden Lane. Additional staff will be on hand during the conversion in order to help motorists get used to the new system.

Frodsham Street car park, which is restricted to Blue Badge holders during the day, is not being converted to ‘pay on exit’ and will remain unaffected.
 

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