Plans to roll out charges for on-street parking across Hampshire are set to start in April, it has been revealed.
Hampshire County Council (HCC) will introduce pay-and-display across the county in a bid to modernise on-street parking.
The programme will kick-off in Lymington High Street, Marine Parade at Lee-on-the-Solent and a section of Fareham High Street.
This will involve an initial free period of parking, followed by parking charges set at similar levels to nearby car parks.
Among the plans, HCC will pilot a number of on-street electric vehicle charging points to help meet increasing demand for electric vehicles.
A digital permit system will also be brought in on Wednesday, April 1 to replace the paper permits for people living in residential parking zones in Romsey, Andover, Fareham and the New Forest.
Any existing paper permits will remain valid until the expiry date shown on the permit.
Residents living within residential parking zones will soon receive letters from the county council’s parking team with information on how to apply for a new permit.
Executive member for economy, transport and environment at HCC, cllr Rob Humby, said: “A well-managed on-street parking service plays an important part in keeping our roads safe and our towns and villages moving.
“However, where there is managed parking on the highway, there is a cost involved and I’m afraid it’s simply not sustainable for resources meant for highways maintenance across the county to be used to subsidise parking for some at the expense of all Hampshire council taxpayers.”
He added: “Well managed parking can have a positive impact on the local economy, cut congestion and in turn improve air quality.
“Increasing the availability of on-street parking provision has the potential to reduce the time and distance travelled by drivers searching for a suitable and convenient place to park and improve access to high-demand parking spaces which, in turn, increases footfall for local businesses.
“It’s important to the local economy and helps our public transport to run on time; Hampshire residents and businesses are concerned about how we move around in our daily business and the impact this has on our economy, environment and local infrastructure.”
This comes as HCC has appointed the national company, NSL, to manage on-street parking in the Test Valley, New Forest, Gosport and Fareham areas of the county.
Local councils in other districts and boroughs across the county will also continue to operate on-street parking on the county council’s behalf, with money given to the county council to help cover costs, such as maintaining signs and lines.
The changes will not affect off-street parking in public car parks which, in most cases, Hampshire’s district, borough and city councils look after.
News from The Southern Daily Echo