Herefordshire Council will be increasing parking charges from April this year.

The new rates, which are set to be rolled out from Monday 3 April 2023, will see a 20p per hour increase for all zone 1 and 2 car parks. In contrast, charges for zone 3 car parks will remain frozen, encouraging drivers to park further from the city centre.

The decision to increase parking charges follows a review of the council's Local Transport Plan (LTP), which was approved in 2016. The LTP outlines the council's strategic objectives for parking, including managing the supply and pricing of parking to encourage sustainable travel choices, supporting long-term growth proposals, and reducing commuter parking in the city centre.

Residents and businesses will also be asked for their views on on-street parking in the roads surrounding the historic centre of Hereford. Professional surveys have shown an average of 541 parking events occurring each day, excluding residents with permits. If 40 per cent of these parking trips were displaced into off-street parking or other travel means, almost 70,000 parking trips could be displaced from city streets annually, promoting the local economy and improving road safety.

Cllr John Harrington, Cabinet Member Infrastructure and Transport, noted that parking charges are set to reflect inflationary pressures on parking services and supporting transport services. He explained, "Better management of parking facilities leads to reduced congestion, improved air quality and road safety, promotes the local economy and ensures good accessibility."

Affected properties will receive letters from the council seeking their views, along with ward councillors and other stakeholders. The council is committed to creating more turnover in parking, improving space availability for businesses and residents, and ultimately benefiting Hereford's visitors.