THE leader of an Oxfordshire town hopes that a hike in car parking prices will not deter people from supporting businesses.

Parking fees will increase in Didcot from April 1 this year as well in other areas of South Oxfordshire such as Goring, Henley, Thame and Wallingford.

The price hike will see between a 20p and 60p added charge for users parking their vehicle depending on how long they park for.

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Leader of Didcot Town Council, Mocky Khan, said the extra funds are ‘needed’ to improve parking areas but hopes the ‘desire’ for people to visit the town will outweigh the price hike.

“This is a balancing act,” he said. “The extra funds are needed to improve the parking areas, keep the maintained and monitored but I don’t want it to impact too much on businesses and residents and I hope it does not especially this current economical climate.

“Didcot is a great place, there is lots to do and the shopping experience has a blend of high street chains  and independent shops, I believe will keep people coming to Didcot.

“Yes, I aware that parking costs could be a consideration, but I am hoping the desire to come to Didcot will outweigh the small increase in parking charges.

“Remember there will still be one-hour free parking. Businesses are hampered by inappropriate, illegal parking or cars staying in parking bays.

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“What is needed here is enforcement of the parking regulations so others can use the parking.”

The price hike was decided by cabinet members at South Oxfordshire District Council in line with inflation at a meeting last month. Members also agreed to continue to offer free parking for up to one hour in the district.

The increase was part of an annual review, which looks at costs of the parking service and considers the impact of increased charges on residents and local businesses.

The extra revenue, which is estimated to bring in about £70,000, will be used to help maintain the district’s car parks and pay for ongoing costs for the service.

Councillor Sue Cooper, cabinet member for environment, climate change and nature recovery, said: “It’s important for our car parking service to cover its own costs and that’s one of the main reasons we made the difficult decision to put the fees up this year.

“While the cost of parking for over two hours is going up at most of our sites, prices are still very low, and we are still offering the first hour for free to help support local business and to support those residents that cannot avoid driving into town.

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“However, we also want to encourage everyone to help tackle climate change by avoiding unnecessary car journeys and to walk, cycle or use public transport, where they can.”


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This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Abingdon, Didcot, Wallingford and Wantage.

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