Parking charges return across the New Forest after two months free

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parking charges new forest
On-duty NHS and social care staff will be exempt from paying

CHARGES are being reintroduced at New Forest District Council town and village car parks following two months’ free parking amid the coronavirus lockdown.

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Motorists will have to pay and display from Monday, although on-duty NHS and social care staff will be exempt. District council toilets are remaining closed for now.

Cllr Edward Heron, NFDC cabinet member for planning and infrastructure, said the decision had been partly taken for financial reasons.

He said: “We are looking carefully at how the money we receive from central government, council tax, and from fees we charge, will enable us to continue to provide essential services for our community.

“The decision to suspend fees was only ever a temporary move and income from parking fees is an important revenue stream for us.”

Without this income, the average council tax bill would have to rise by £49 to continue funding its current level of services, said an NFDC spokesperson.

A decision on reopening public toilets will be made when “Covid-secure” guidance can be safely met, she added.

In Totton the town council-run toll bridge at Eling tide mill is also set to resume charging vehicles to cross from Monday. The mill and visitor centre shut its doors on 19th March in line with government guidance and the toll both was also closed.

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