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Changes to Parking in the District from 10 October 2011
From 10 October 2011, the Council introduced a series of improvements in the way you pay for parking across all car parks in the District.

The Council has purchased new pay and display parking machines to offer you a variety of different payment options and offer the best value for money. In addition to you still being able to make payments by cash, the main changes will be:
Payment by credit/debit card – The machines will allow you to pay using a ‘Chip & Pin’ verification facility, the same as when using your card for any other transaction.

Payment by mobile phone – The machines will display full details explaining how to pay using your mobile phone. You will also be able to receive a text message to remind you when your ticket is due to expire and allow you to top-up your ticket should you be delayed in returning to your vehicle.

Linear charging – This means if you do not have the exact coinage and have to ‘overpay’ for your chosen tariff, you will receive any extra paid as time on your ticket. This will be calculated relative to the next time-band and will mean you get better value for money. For example, if you paid for an hours parking (80p) with a one pound coin, you would receive 1 hour 20 minutes of parking.

Reintroduction of the half-hour time-band - Following requests from customers and traders and feedback from our customer surveys, the Council has decided to reintroduce the half-hour time-band. In the past, when the half-hour time-band was offered, many motorists underestimated their time required and incurred Penalty Charge Notices so the facility to purchase a half-hour ticket will be reviewed after six months.

The Council also hopes to have a “Wave and Pay” system operational soon. This means the machines will accept debit cards that have a chip fitted allowing contactless payments. This provides motorists with a speedier transaction for small payments without the need to enter a PIN number.

New Parking Charges
There will be a minimal increase in tariffs for the one, two and three hour time-bands only, this will be the first increase in these tariffs since 2007. The new parking tariff will be:
Up to ½ hour £0.40
Up to 1 hour £0.80
Up to 2 hours £1.40
Up to 3 hours £2.00
Up to 4 hours £2.40
Up to 5 hours £3.00
All-day  £5.00

Car Parks
Old Ship Lane car park in Rochford is restricted to parking for up to two hours.
Websters Way and Mill Hall car parks in Rayleigh are restricted to parking for up to four hours, however, season ticket holders are permitted to use these car parks.
The Approach car park, at the rear of Rayleigh Railway Station offers an all-day ticket only.
All other Council-owned pay and display car parks have no parking time restrictions.

Season Tickets
Annual and quarterly season tickets are available for all car parks priced £800 and £240 respectively.  Season tickets for The Approach car park at Rayleigh Station are £700 and £200.

Free Parking
Don’t forget, with the continuation of the Council’s ‘Free Parking on Saturday Afternoon Scheme’ a pay and display ticket need only be purchased to cover you up to 1pm.  If you arrive after this time you park for free in any of the Council’s pay and display car parks. (Except for The Approach car park at Rayleigh Station which is free all day on Saturdays)
The Council will continue to offer free parking on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation, Councillor Keith Hudson, said: “The improvements to the way we operate car parking in the District shows that we have listened to feedback from shoppers and traders.
The re-introduction of the half-hour time band means that residents who wish to pop into town to run errands do not have to pay for the full hour of parking, and if they do find that they are running out of time, they will be able to “top-up” via mobile phone. In essence, all of these changes have been brought in to try and improve the service we offer to our customers.
The new machines not only offer drivers more ways to pay, but offer considerable efficiencies of operation so making long-term cost savings for the Council which we are delighted to be able to pass on to our residents.”

Full details are available by calling 01268 798606/798608.