Dover District Council's Cabinet has reviewed proposals for Sunday parking charges following a period of consultation and has decided to defer plans to extend Sunday parking charges to 11 out of the 12 car parks being considered.
Dover is the only council in East Kent that does not currently charge for parking in the majority of its town car parks on Sundays, which is now the second busiest shopping day of the week.
The plans had included Sunday charging at four car parks in Dover town centre to match charges at the new £53m St James development. Legal & General has confirmed that it will not now charge on Sundays at this time.
The extension of Sunday charging in Deal will be limited to the Middle Street Car Park only. This follows research showing that Middle Street Car Park is operating at full capacity at many times, with shoppers and visitors unable to park. Most car parks in the town will remain free on Sundays.
Sunday charging is not being introduced in Sandwich at this time, as the planned coach park which would have taken 50 spaces from the Guildhall Car Park is now unlikely to proceed.
The Dover district continues to have the cheapest parking in East Kent with the cheapest average hourly rate at £1.10, and the shortest charging period (9am to 5pm).
Dover District Council will continue to monitor town centre car park usage as demand increases, and will continue to take whatever action is necessary to manage town centre car parks where churn is necessary to support high street businesses.
Cllr Keith Morris, Leader of Dover District Council, said: "We’ve listened carefully to the views of residents, visitors and town centre businesses. We’ve struck a balance between the need to manage ever increasing parking demands at the weekend, as well as maintaining our ongoing commitment to offer the cheapest and shortest periods of parking charges in East Kent."