Car-parking charges are now being reinstated at all of Dorset Council’s open car-parks, but the way you pay may be different, the council has announced.
Following calls from the general public and Dorset’s elected members, the council says it suspended charges for the use of any of its car parks that remain open while public health measures were in place in the earlier stages of the lockdown period.
Now that a gradual easing of travel restrictions has begun by government this week, it is anticipated that there will be more demand for car-parking spaces. Therefore, the Council says will begin charging users again with immediate effect.
However, visitors to any off-street car-parks will not be able to use cash to pay for their ticket.
To reduce physical contact with ticket machines, all open car-parks across the Dorset Council area will only accept the following cashless payment methods until further notice:
- Using a smartphone, download the free Just Park app and register your vehicle and bank card for easy payment upon arrival (no additional charges)
- Telephone 01305 235498 on arrival at the car park and have your payment card ready (6p booking fee applies)
- Pre-register your mobile phone with Just Park and pay by SMS (text message, 6p booking fee applies) upon arrival – following instructions on the side of the machine.
There is limited on-street pay and display parking in the Weymouth Town Centre area, and all normal payment methods (including cash) will be available at these machines only.
The council says drivers should check the signage at each car park for the latest information as soon as they exit the vehicle after parking. Instructions on how to use all three payment methods is clearly displayed on all ticket machines.
Key workers may continue to use parking facilities without payment until further notice upon display of a relevant pass, but should not park in areas with existing restrictions (yellow lines) or anywhere that causes an obstruction.
Key workers can also register for free parking by emailing Parking Services, providing their name, evidence of employer details and vehicle registration number. They will receive a response email and their details will be added to the council’s system so they know not to issue a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) to this vehicle.
Car parks at visitor destinations including beaches and country parks across Dorset will stay closed for the time being. The authority asks people not to park in restricted areas outside of the car park or its entrance as this will result in enforcement.
Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: ‘It’s important to reinstate these charges in our car-parks now that travel restrictions have been slightly eased, so that we can ensure the maximum amount of people are able to use them to go about their essential journeys.
‘It’s important that drivers ensure they have the correct means of paying for their ticket before setting off, so remember to take your phone. Use of ticket machine keypads and cash are obvious ways that COVID-19 could be spread, so we need to reduce or prevent their use wherever possible.
‘Luckily, the three cashless methods available are incredibly simple to use. In fact, I imagine those who haven’t used them yet are unlikely to go back to using cash once they’ve had a try. If in doubt, check the signage and notices on the ticket machine.’