The new pay on exit parking system is due to go live in seven Taunton car parks this autumn.
The council is working with contractors to complete the installation of equipment at the Orchard, High Street, Tangier, Canon Street, Wood Street, Castle Street and Enfield car parks.
The complex work which has included ground works, installation of barriers, machines and cabling, is due to finish by end of this month. A period of testing and training will then take place with the aim of going live in early November. This means customers will be able to take advantage of the new arrangements in the busy Christmas period.
The Council has already installed Variable Message Signing (VMS) at key locations such as Priorswood Road, Cross Keys, Toneway, East Reach, Silk Mills and Wellington Road.
The VMS systems will help drivers to find car parks and know how many spaces are available and the type of parking – short stay, long stay and commuter. It will also avoid them having to drive around to find a suitable space and should ease queuing and reduce congestion.
Cllr Richard Parrish, Executive member for transport and parking, said: “This £1.2million scheme of significant improvements to car parks and signage should make a real difference to drivers in Taunton. VMS will really improve the flow of traffic and help drivers find the space they need quickly and efficiently, while pay on exit will mean people do not have to rush back to their cars while shopping, dining or on business in the town. This is a great example of the Council working to make parking easier for residents and visitors while improving the traffic flow and in turn reducing air pollution. I’m looking forward to seeing the improvements in place.”
Spaces for Blue Badge holders will remain but the system no longer allows for the additional one hour of free parking. This will apply to the seven car parks covered by pay-on-exit. The free hour will still be available in other car parks.
At Paul Street multi-storey car park, Blue Badge holders will be able to use a discount card via Shopmobility. Additionally, Blue Badge holders will be able to use on-street parking as they do now.
There will be no change to parking after 6pm – it will remain free as it is now. If a driver is parked after 6pm and needs to leave, they will be able to do so as the barrier will raise. They will still have to pay for any parking before 6pm. For example, if a driver arrives at 5pm and leaves at 6.30pm, they will be charged for the one hour of use.
A new charging regime to help with clearer pricing and designation of TDBC car parks will also come into effect with the pay on exit scheme. Changes to the designations of the car parks will give users a clear understanding of where parking is available and for how long you can stay there.
There are small increases for some car parks. Other car parks will remain static in their charging for short stays, while for longer stays in the majority of car parks, it will be cheaper for most people.
Image of car park courtesy of Google