Published Monday 19 September 2016 at 16:00
The new scheme will be introduced from Spring 2017 for everybody who uses the two main car parks.
Lighting will be installed at the main Arena car park and the large car park next to the Astroturf pitches, off Preston Old Road. Charges of 50p for two hours or £1.50 for the whole day will be enforced Monday to Sunday from 8am to 9pm.
Parking at Tower Road Car Park and at Pleasington will remain free along with limited spaces close to Witton School. These car parks are suitable for use during daylight hours only.
New technology will be used to manage the scheme to allow for necessary exemptions and also ease of payment. Parking season tickets will also be made available.
Councillor Damian Talbot, executive member for Culture, Leisure and Young People, said:
The scheme has been reviewed to consider the financial impact of a 6pm cut off and the fairness of such a decision on all park users. The need to invest in lighting as well as the scale of the budget challenges mean the charges will be implemented in full and up to 9pm.
Due to the need to implement new lighting the parking charge scheme will not be introduced until Spring 2017. We will use this time to work with park users to ensure that the impact of the charges is minimised and that changes are as simple as possible, taking into consideration all those who will be affected.
The Council remains committed to working with volunteers and community groups. During the cuts they have really stepped up often providing services that the Council no longer can, which is fantastic. In addition the Council has invested in Witton despite budget cuts because we know how much the public values the park. However, such are the level of budget cuts facing the Council at this time we need to ask park users to help us by contributing when using the car park. There remains no charge for gaining entry into the park itself.
We are keen to keep links strong with the groups operating in the park and I hope that those groups will work with us.”