Council parking charges set to be reintroduced

June 03, 2020

Parking charges will be reintroduced in all of Lancaster City Council’s council car parks from June 8 after the easing of lockdown measures.

The city council waived charges on its car parks back in March to help those needing to make essential journeys.

Like many other councils nationwide, following changes to government guidelines which mean more people are returning to towns and cities, the city council is now reinstating charges.

The income raised from parking charges is a vital source of the income with the city council estimating that their suspension will cost it around £600,000.

With the council already facing an estimated budget shortfall of between £5m to £9m due to the effects on its finances of the coronavirus outbreak, the money raised from car parking is essential for it to continue to provide vital services to the public.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet member with responsibility for planning policy, said: “The decision to suspend fees was only ever designed to be temporary during the worst days of the coronavirus pandemic for those making essential journeys.

“Now that lockdown measures are being eased more people are returning to the workplace, we are seeing an increasing number of people travelling and using car parks.

“We now need to begin the road to recovery and parking charges are an important revenue stream that means we can continue to provide essential services for our communities.

“With the additional support we’re providing to vulnerable people and businesses, this revenue is more important than ever.

“Of course, not everyone needs to drive and, where possible, we’d encourage people to walk or cycle. Not only does this mean they avoid having to pay for parking but also helps to tackle climate change and reduces air pollution.”

In line with government guidelines, NHS staff and health and social care workers who display a national Covid-19 pass can continue to park for free.

As part of measures to ensure public safety and continue to reduce the spread of coronavirus, motorists using the car parks are asked to pay contactless by RingGo wherever possible.

For more information or to register, visit

The city council is also working in partnership with Lancashire County Council to introduce extended active travel options across the district. In December 2019 the city council adopted its walking and cycling Planning Advisory Note and is now calling on the county council to introduce these suggestions as a matter of urgency.

Stagecoach has announced extensions to their district wide bus services too as they begin to safely emerge from the virus pandemic.