Date Published: 01 July 2020
Drivers using Sleaford’s car parks are encouraged to maintain safe social distancing and show consideration for others as they get busier with shops and businesses re-opening.
From Wednesday, July 1, charging resumes across all of the town’s council-run car parks after a period of around three months during which charging was suspended.
There will now be a need to pay and display; failure to do so runs the risk of a fine.
Cash, card and contactless payments are accepted across all machines and charges remain low, as they were previously.
Leader of North Kesteven District Council Councillor Richard Wright said Government advice was to walk or cycle if possible, but to use private transport in preference to public transport.
“If driving to Sleaford, we’d encourage the use of car parks rather than the limited on-street parking as this will help maintain social distancing on pavements and side streets and avoid impacting on the available space for others,” he said.
“Businesses have successfully responded to the challenge of opening up safely, giving customers and staff confidence that they are safe, secure and welcome in their premises and this is the next step in returning normality to our high street.
“Customers have responded brilliantly and now I would encourage them to use contactless payment if they can.”
Where the requirement to queue and maintain safe distancing may have an impact, people should consider how long it is likely to take to carry out their business and buy enough time to cover this.
The first hour at Eastgate Car Park remains free and further low cost parking can be found across Sleaford, for as little as 50p for two hours and £2 for all day at Grantham Road.
Are car parks open and will I be charged?
All of the usual car parks in Sleaford are open – long and short stay.
After almost three months of free parking, from July 1, rates will be applied as previously. These rates have not increased from last year so there is no increase in the cost of parking.
All meters accept cash, card and contactless payments; contactless being preferable.
In Sleaford rates are as low as £2 for a full day or 50p for two hours. At Eastgate Car Park the first hour is provided free, but a ticket must still be obtained.
You can view a list of available car parks and charges here.
The car park at Whisby Nature Park is also open again. Charges will resume once the Natural World Centre re-opens (intended to be from July 4)
Are there any changes to car parks?
Our car parks are open and available for you to use as previously, but you might want to consider a few more things.
- Government advice is to walk or cycle if possible and to use private transport in preference to public transport.
- If driving to Sleaford, we’d encourage the use of car parks rather than taking up the limited time-limited on-street parking, as this will help maintain social distancing on pavements and release such space for others who can’t so easily walk distances.
- Make sure you buy enough time to cover your expected duration. It may take you longer to shop than before due to social distancing measures and queuing, and so it’s advisable to consider this when thinking about the length of your parking stay.
- By allowing yourself plenty of time while shopping, you won’t feel rushed and you’ll be better placed to support businesses as they manage their own individual measures to protect the health of all customers.
- Contactless payments are advised.
You should seek to wash / sanitise your hands as soon as you are able to after using the machine and avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth until you have done so.
Why are you charging for car parking from July 1?
Up until July 1, there are no parking charges in Sleaford, which has been the case since April.
After careful consideration with our partners, a decision was taken to keep our car parks free of charge until July 1 to help shoppers as they lend their support to businesses by returning to our high street.
After a period of almost three months without charging, the reintroduction of charges from July 1 will contribute much-needed income to the town and district councils to maintain broader service provision.
We recognise it’s important to maintain car parking charges at a reasonable level, especially at this time.
There are a variety of long-stay low-charge options available, where rates include £1.40 for three hours or £2 for four hours at certain locations, and free parking continues on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
There are options too at car parks closer to the town centre, such as Eastgate Car Park which is free for the first hour and up to £1.50 for three hours.
Car parks are generally wide, open spaces that naturally allow for social distancing and freer movement with others in mind, compared to high streets and other locations.
We’re also asking car park users to follow good hand hygiene – washing hands before leaving home and when arriving back. Many shops also have hand gel or other sanitising facilities.
At Grantham Road up to two hours costs 50p or £2 for the full day.
You can view a list of available car parks and charges here. (https://www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/visitors-and-leisure/getting-here-and-around/parking/)
When parking charges resume at Whisby Nature Park, the £2 charge will allow for all-day parking.
What precautions are in place?
Signage is in place in our car parks with appropriate health messages, including reminders on social distancing.
We are asking car park users to continue to be courteous by showing patience and maintaining social distancing from each other.
What if I don’t pay and display?
Parking enforcement will be starting up again and failure to display a valid ticket for your stay puts you at risk of being issued with a fixed penalty notice.
Equally, over-staying your time in any time-limited on-street parking runs the risk of a fixed penalty notice.