Council confirms introduction of flexible season tickets and updated parking charges

PR2399/CO/MF - 09/12/2021

Mid Sussex District Council has agreed to implement a new flexible season ticket offer and to increase car parking charges in line with inflation.

The decision was taken by Full Council at a meeting on Wednesday 8 December 2021.

Car park season tickets are primarily used by town centre workers and commuters. The pandemic has dramatically changed the way people work, with many more people working from home, and this has had an impact on the demand for season tickets. The number of people using town centre season tickets is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels, so an additional flexible 3-day season ticket will be introduced to fit in with new working habits

Public sector organisations across the UK are facing serious budget gaps as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In local government, the financial cost of supporting communities through the pandemic has been huge. Even with additional funding from the Government, the cost to Mid Sussex District Council was £1.9 million during the 2020/21 financial year and Covid-19 will continue to have a significant impact on the Council’s finances over the coming years.

Parking charges in Mid Sussex town centre Pay and Display car parks have remained the same for the past ten years, which means they have not kept pace with inflation or rising management and maintenance costs.

The Council is increasing car park charges to help protect essential public services and enable continued investment in the parking estate, particularly in new technologies to improve customer service.

Mid Sussex is currently one of the cheapest places to park in the area when compared to neighbouring Council areas and this will continue to be the case. Parking for one hour in a Mid Sussex District Council car park will increase from 80p to £1 and parking for two hours in a Mid Sussex District Council car park will cost a maximum of £1.50 compared with £1.80 in Lewes, £2 in Crawley and £2.80 in Horsham.

Councillor Stephen Hillier, MSDC Cabinet Member for Economic Growth said:

“The financial pressures created on council finances by the coronavirus pandemic are here to stay for the foreseeable future. We must plan ahead if we are to protect our services and safeguard the long-term sustainability of the Council.

“Our parking charges have remained frozen for the past decade and by bringing them back in line with inflation we will be able to support our key statutory services while also investing in the modernisation of our car parks.

“The decision to increase parking charges is not one we take lightly, but we must make some tough choices over the next few years if we are to effectively manage our budget and recover from the effects of this awful pandemic.”