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November 22 2012.

Parking fees in the LDC area are to rise in April, although parking will be free in Newhaven and Seaford for the Christmas period as part of changes agreed by Lewes District Council Cabinet on Tuesday (20 November).

Parking charges will increase overall by 10% - the first rise for eight years - but the rise will not take place until April 2013, when the new bands come into effect. 
LDC is responsible for off-street car parks, while East Sussex County Council controls on-street parking. To harmonise with recently announced changes by the county council to on-street parking, LDC Cabinet agreed to:
• Reduce the hours when charges apply in off-street car parks by two hours a day, from 9am to 5pm (instead of 8am to 6pm)

• Make car parks free on bank holidays.

• Offer free parking in Newhaven and Seaford car parks for Christmas shoppers from 15th to 31st December.

• Improve signage, lining and maintenance to car parks
• Link future car park charges to the retail prices index (RPI)

• Increase parking charges from April 2013 by 10% overall; some prices will go up more, some will fall.

• Consolidate charges into three tariff bands for Lewes Town and a single band for Newhaven and Seaford.
• Look into the cost of offering payment by phone or mobile device.
LDC operates 57 car parks across the district, offering more than 2,000 spaces. The changes do not apply to privately owned car parks.

Parking charges have not been raised since 2004 and a review found that signage was out of date and charging bands needed simplifying.

The 10% increase is a third of the cost if the charges had been linked to RPI over the last eight years.
Currently there are nine tariff bands. These will be simplified into three for Lewes town - inner, outer and long stay - and one for Newhaven and Seaford.

The average charge for one hour's parking will be 70p from April 2013.
LDC expects to generate net income of £205,790 from parking charges in 2012-13. The changes are expected to generate additional income of £76,000 next year.