CAR parking charges in Wiltshire are set to go up in line with inflation as Wiltshire Council tries to bridge a gap in its costs.

The cabinet meeting next week is set to discuss seven options and will then go out to public consultation on different ways to raise extra parking cash.

But it is clear from the report that the preferred option is to increase parking charges by the level of inflation which is currently running at 2.6 per cent.

Parvis Khansari associate director for highways and transport says in the report: "Following the public consultation, it is proposed that, subject to the responses received, option one, would be implemented over an eight to 12 week period.

"For the remaining options, the results of the public consultation would be presented to a future cabinet meeting ahead of any agreed options

The report goes on to say: "The council’s Parking Services is facing significant operational cost pressures. These include business rate payments, essential equipment upgrades and maintenance works, and inflation costs. The demands on the service are also increasing; particularly requests from residents, schools, businesses and parish / town councils asking for extra parking enforcement and maintenance to be undertaken."

Other options include: introducing Sunday and Bank / Public Holiday charging at all car parks; charging in all Wiltshire Council car parks;

discontinuing free event parking in November and December; basing season ticket charges on the standard rate charges; harmonising residents’ parking permit charges and reducing the parking grace period to 10 minutes.

Today Wiltshire Council said the parking charge review was needed to help safeguard rural bus services.

A spokesman said: "A review of parking arrangements in 2014 introduced individual car park charging based upon usage, which saw an overall reduction in charges and meant that the council’s car parking service has remained relatively unchanged since 2011. However cost pressures on many council services has resulted in a need to consider a review of current parking charges to ensure that vital services can continue."

Bridget Wayman, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We don’t want to increase parking charges, however subsidising public transport is so important in a rural county, and without income generated from car parks we could lose many vital bus services.

“We are therefore asking local people and businesses how the extra funding could be found. We really are open to any options and welcome comments and ideas.

“It’s important that we strike the right balance in our towns and city and how they are accessed. We need to focus on improving the environmental impact caused by vehicles, along with the need to cover the cost to provide car parking services.”

The proposals, which will be considered at cabinet on September 12, also contain investment in a number of technological and operational improvements to improve customer service. These include parking bay sensors, automatic number plate recognition for residents’ parking zones, static cameras outside schools and body worn cameras.

Any surplus revenue generated from car parking is used to help fund essential local bus services.

Following the cabinet meeting on 12 September the consultation will begin later in the month and will last for eight weeks. More information at