Northampton's free two-hour parking was used over 900,000 times in a year

The popularity of Northampton's free parking offer at the town's multi-storeys has been underlined with the release of new figures.
Changes to the Mayorhold Car Park's tariffs will go ahead in JulyChanges to the Mayorhold Car Park's tariffs will go ahead in July
Changes to the Mayorhold Car Park's tariffs will go ahead in July

The statistics show that free two-hour parking in the town centre was taken advantage of 934,440 times in 2018/2019 - or an average of more than 2,500 times each day.

It comes as Northampton Borough Council confirms in a document that the proposed tariffs for its multi-storey car parks - which include scrapping two hours of free parking on weekdays - will be enacted.

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After an outcry, the proposed tariffs were revised then put out to public consultation. The council now says the second proposals will come into force unchanged in July.

The document, written by cabinet member for planning Councillor James Hill, says: "There was acceptance of a number of the proposals, although, as is to be expected, there was less support for some others.

"After considering them, we have decided that the only way to meet the financial target required to carry out the repairs and improvements to our car parks that are required will be to implement the changes as proposed."

The revised charges mean there will still be free parking in multi-storeys for two hours on Saturdays. However motorists will have to pay £1 per hour on weekdays (for the first five hours).

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The Conservative administration introduced free parking across all its car parks more than five years ago including the all-day free Saturdays and two hours free on weekends at its multi-storey car parks.

But the free parking offer reduced the council's parking income by more than £1.5 million per year, and reduced the level of investment across the car parks.

The increased charges will help pay for:

- replacement of old pay machines (£30,000)

- concrete repairs to Mayorhold multi-storey (£250,000)

- replacement of lifts in St John's, St Michael's and Mayorhold multi-storeys (£400,000)

- resurfacing works to the Grosvenor multi-storey exit ramp (£90,000)