East Herts Council welcomes the return of visitors to its towns following government announcements which allow non-essential shops to re-open and for people to return to work if they cannot work from home. Motorists are advised that from Monday 29 June, users of East Herts Council car parks will be required to pay for their parking sessions following their suspension at the end of March.
Plans to modify some shopping streets in order to accommodate social distancing measures are in place and these will limit on-street parking availability. Re-introducing car park charges will help the council car parks manage the spaces effectively as more visitors are expected as businesses to re-open.
The council will continue to support NHS, health and social care workers, and NHS volunteer responders with free parking, following the introduction of the government scheme allowing these workers to apply for permits to park in council-run car parks nationwide, free of charge when on duty.
To help keep customers safe, marshals will be stationed in car parks to offer advice and maintain a thorough cleansing rota. The council will also place posters in its car parks to remind users to maintain 2m social distancing and to follow public health guidance for hygiene purposes. Car park users also have the option to download and utilise the current pay-by-phone app for contactless payment. This is also useful to extend parking sessions if motorists are delayed in self distancing queues.
Graham McAndrew, executive member for environmental sustainability, said: “Since Monday 30 March, we have provided unlimited free access to our car parks to help those that were working throughout the emergency. Many people have taken advantage of the free parking and we have been delighted to have helped so many over the past three months.
“We want to encourage residents to safely come back to shop in our towns and reintroducing car parking charges will help us manage parking capacity appropriately. With visitor numbers in our towns increasing, we would ask that people park considerately and safely. On behalf of all of our parking team and enforcement officers, thank you for your cooperation and understanding at this challenging time.”
NHS and health and social care workers are being encouraged to apply via their employer for the temporary government parking permit. The permit must be displayed on the dashboard.