Free parking scrapped in town near Aylesbury

Charges will be reintroduced on April Fool's Day

By Rory Butler, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 10:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 10:06 am

Weekend charges at two town car parks are being reintroduced because the local council can ‘no longer fund free parking’.

Free weekend parking in the Horns Lane and The Mount car parks in Princes Risborough will stop from March 31.

Charges will be reintroduced from April 1.

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Mount Car Park will no longer be free at weekends

Princes Risborough Town Council has been able to offer free parking for the past two years due to grant money from Buckinghamshire Council, which has stopped.

The two sites are owned by Bucks Council which wanted around £49,000 from the town council to continue the free weekend parking arrangement.

However, this would have meant charging local taxpayers an extra £12.98 a year (based on an average Band D property), it said.

Princes Risborough Town Council agreed to bring back weekend fees instead, it said.

However, the town council has also agreed a 3.8 per cent increase in the Adult Social Care Precept. It said the free parking would have meant an increase of 16.3 per cent.

The car parks are well used public parking sites in Princes Risborough, granting easy access to Risborough Springs Swim and Fitness Centre, Unity Health surgery, Risborough Community Centre, a café, and a children’s play park – and are within walking distance of the high street and market.

The sites also have disabled parking bays.

“Please be aware that from April 1, 2022, weekend parking will no longer be free,” a public notice reads.

“These charges are being reintroduced because, regrettably, Princes Risborough Town Council are no longer able to fund this scheme.”

Town mayor and chairman, Councillor Andy Ball: “As your town mayor and chairman, it is my duty to inform you, our town’s residents, that as of the 31st March 2022 our free weekend parking will cease.

“I am extremely sorry and disappointed that the town council has had to make this decision. In the past two years, we have been able to offer this free service following a grant from Buckinghamshire Council to fund this initiative. Unfortunately, this has not been the case this year.

“Buckinghamshire Council owns and maintains the two car parks situated at Horns Lane and the Mount. This financial year Buckinghamshire Council wanted approximately £49,000 to carry on with this free weekend parking.

“In order to fund this, we would have had to have charged our taxpayers an extra £12.98 per year (based on an average Band D property).

“At a meeting in January, where we agreed on budgets for the upcoming financial year, our 12 councillors and I voted unanimously to cease free parking as we felt it was not a viable cost in the current economic climate.

“We agreed on a 3.8 per cent increase in our precept; the free parking would have meant a 16.3 per cent increase which no councillor agreed with.

“Please remember from the 1st April 2022 to purchase a ticket to park in car parks at the weekend, as well as in the week – the last thing I would want to see is our motorists receiving a parking fine.

“The easiest way I find to pay for parking is to download the RingGo app.”