Sunderland parking charges go up as council raises rates

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Drivers will be forking out more to park their cars in the city centre and elsewhere in Wearside after council chiefs decided to raise fees from next month.

Public notices have been posted informing motorists of the planned 10p per hour increase in council-provided car parks and on-street parking, while the fixed rate of £2 at the St Mary's and Sunniside multi-storeys and Livingstone Road car park will remain unchanged.

The Thursday 'Free After Three' scheme will also continue in all car parks and on-street parking places.

Mark Jackson, head of infrastructure and transportation at the authority, said: "Car parking charges in Sunderland continue to offer good value compared to many other similar-sized cities and local areas, and the decision to raise them even slightly has not been taken lightly.

“We have had to consider these changes for Council operated car parks and on-street parking to help balance the demand for parking with the need to reduce congestion, keep traffic flowing freely across the city and continue investment in parking facilities.”

Sunderland City Council said it "continues to invest in parking facilities", and has introduced more than 80 on-street parking bays in various locations to give motorists more parking options in the city centre over the last twelve months.

The authority said there has also been infrastructure investment in St Mary’s car park which has improved visitor and pedestrian access, with the introduction of an automatic door system on the walkway and an upgrade of the lifts in Green Street Arcade.

Improvements to the car park lifts in St Mary’s car park are also planned for this financial year, while the equipment at Sunniside car park has also been upgraded to improve customer service by introducing more efficient and up to date technology including new entry and exit terminals, new pay stations, and new credit/debit card facilities.

The council currently manages more than 3,700 parking spaces across the city including three multi-storey car parks, ten chargeable off-street car parks, 20 locations with chargeable on-street bays, and 23 free off-street car parks.