Charges in some Cornwall Council car parks could be set to rise to £2.20 per hour under new plans being put forward.

The council wants to introduce a simplified charging system for its car parks to make it easier for residents and visitors.

Currently the council has around 120 different tariffs operating across the 280 car parks that it owns and operates across Cornwall. Under the new plans all car parks will be placed into one of three zones .

These zones will consider where the car parks are located, what they are used for and how busy they are in determining the parking charges. It means that the council can introduce higher charges in tourist hotspots so that it can generate more income for the council.

The current highest hourly charges in council car parks are £1.70 for the first hour. If agreed the new charges would be introduced in April and see that increase by 50p for the first hour in the top level car parks.

Under the new proposals the top zone A would have the highest charges and will also charge motorists for parking at night. Under current charges most council car parks do not charge in the evening.

The Zone A charges would be £1.30 for 30 minutes (only in short stay car parks); £2.20 for an hour; £4.40 for two hours; £5.50 for three hours; £6.50 for four hours; and £10 for all day (9am to 6pm); evenings will be charged at £2.50 for 6pm to midnight.

Zone B car parks would have charges of 60p for 30 minutes (short stay only); £1 for an hour; £2.40 for two hours; £3.60 for three hours; £4.80 for four hours; and £6 for all day (9am to 6pm).

The Zone C car parks would charge 50p for 30 minutes (short stay only); 90p for an hour; £1.50 for two hours; £2 for three hours; £2.50 for four hours; and £5.50 for all day (9am to 6pm). There are no evening charges for zones B and C.

Garras Wharf car park Truro (Image: LDRS)

Garras Wharf car park Truro (Image: LDRS)

A report on the new parking tariffs is set to go before the council’s economic growth and development overview and scrutiny committee when it meets next week. Whilst the report details the proposed new charges it does not provide details of which car parks have been placed in each new zone.

The report states: “Cornwall Council is responsible for over 280 off-street car parks serving a range of purposes, with varying standards, charges and usage which currently do not fit within one clear operational strategy. This results in a lack of strategic traffic management with car parks not effectively contributing to the wider transport strategy; complex and confusing tariffs for customers; complicated enforcement and unnecessary costs incurred each year the tariffs are revised.

“A comprehensive review of parking tariffs has been carried out over the last six months against a broad range of objectives to support the economy, environment, carbon reduction and communities.

“The proposal removes the current complexity of having almost 120 different parking tariffs across the 135 or so current chargeable car parks. The proposal is to replace this with a three-zone system where all car parks are placed into one of seven bands based on key criteria.”

The overview and scrutiny committee will be asked to support the proposed charges which, if approved by the council’s Cabinet, would be introduced in April 2023. The committee will meet at New County Hall on Tuesday.