Buckinghamshire Council provided free parking during the COVID crisis. Now restrictions are being lifted, parking charges are being reintroduced. From Saturday 1 August, everyone parking in a council car park or in a parking bay on the road, will be required to pay the required charge. The exceptions are blue badge holders, who may continue to park in designated bays.
As high streets have reopened and residents are returning to use shops, restaurants, etc., the resumption of charging is necessary to help manage traffic flows and improve pedestrian safety.
A range of health and safety measures in car parks has been put in place to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, including marking out social distancing areas around ticket machines, and advisory signage. There will be an enhanced cleaning regime for ticket machines, lift buttons and other surfaces in high footfall areas. Buckinghamshire Council has introduced the option for ticketless pay and display in more car parks across the county via RingGo; and payment of parking fees using this contactless option is recommended.
David Martin, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Logistics, said:
“The reintroduction of parking charges is a necessary part of the effective traffic management of our town centres as traffic levels continue to build. However, for the next few days, council car parking remains free for everyone; and I would encourage residents to make use of this facility to support local businesses.”
In recent months, the reduction in numbers of vehicles on the roads has seen measurable improvements in air quality, particularly in urban areas. To support residents who want to continue to cycle, additional secure bicycle parking is being provided at many locations and railway stations. There are also plans to introduce cycle lanes, where this is feasible, to separate cyclists from other road users.