On-street parking charges will be re-introduced on Nottingham’s streets next week – although key workers will still be able to park for free.
Nottingham City Council relaxed charges and enforcement in March at the start of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions to help support the pandemic response.
The aim was to allow people who absolutely needed to travel into the city, especially those identified as key workers, to do so safely and to reduce the need to use scaled-down public transport services. Charges for multi-storey and surface car parks remained in place.
Nottingham is one of the last remaining towns and cities locally to reinstate parking charges as strict Government lockdown restrictions ease and local authorities implement plans to begin slowly and carefully returning to normal.
From Monday (8 June), all on-street parking charges, maintenance and enforcement will restart. Key workers will still be supported, however they will need to apply for a virtual permit at email@example.com to continue to park in all zones.
The Council has also launched a new app this week for customers who park in Trinity Square and Lace Market car parks. Once drivers set up an account through the app, they can drive into and out of the car park without taking a ticket or having to queue at pay stations.
This supports wider efforts around the control and spread of coronavirus by promoting contactless and cashless payments, while reducing the need for people to stand in a queue. Offers will be available when the app, called RHParking, is downloaded from either the App Store or Play Store.
While the app will be available to use straight away in Trinity Square, motorists are reminded that the Lace Market car park remains closed throughout June for essential works expected be completed by early July.
Councillor Adele Williams, Portfolio Holder for Local Transport at Nottingham City Council, said: “We moved quickly to relax parking restrictions in the city centre back in March. We wanted to allow key workers, who had to adapt so quickly to an ever-changing pandemic situation, to carry out their essential work with one less thing to worry about.
“We’ve tried to keep this going for as long as possible – indeed we’re one of the last local authorities in our region to reintroduce on-street parking charges and enforcement. However, it is now necessary as the Government rules on lockdown restrictions begin to ease and more traffic returns to our roads.
“We have to be able to manage increased demand for parking spaces in order to keep the city moving smoothly during this period.
“However, key workers will still be able to park for free by applying for a virtual permit, and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to introduce our new parking app to make it easier for motorists to access our larger car parks without the need to queue at pay machines.
“We hope that people can understand we’re trying to strike the right balance between supporting key workers and making sure that cars which do need to come into the city move in and out of remaining on-street bays regularly throughout the day.
“Again, it’s important to be clear that people should still only travel when necessary and ensure that they are observing all social distancing and hygiene recommendations from Public Health England.”