The countdown to the reopening of Sturry Road park and ride on Monday 1 April has begun – and residents of the Canterbury district will be able to use the service for just £3.20 a day.

Park and ride offers cost effective and convenient parking, and the restoration of the Sturry Road route, after it stopped operating in July 2022, will see nearly 600 more parking spaces for the city come back into use.

District residents with a city council ANPR parking account will receive a 20 per cent reduction on the cost of park and ride, making the daily price just £3.20 for a car with up to six passengers.

And drivers who aren’t district residents can still benefit by using the service regularly. Their fifth journey will be free of charge when they use park and ride five times in any calendar month, again through an ANPR parking account.

These special rates also apply at the other two park and ride sites – New Dover Road and Wincheap – from 1 April.

As well as offering great value parking, the service helps to reduce congestion and improve air quality in the centre of Canterbury by taking cars off the road at the outskirts of the city.

Low emission buses run as frequently as every eight minutes at peak times.

Cabinet member for tourism, movement and rural development, Cllr Alex Ricketts, said:

“I’m delighted that we’re reopening the Sturry Road park and ride, responding to public demand and delivering on both parties’ election manifesto promises.

“Providing parking options that limit the costs and environmental impact of coming into our wonderful city is so important for boosting the local economy and protecting the environment, which is what our 2024/25 budget is all about.”

The reopening of Canterbury’s third park and ride site comes as part of a number of changes to parking in the district, including the introduction of a 10 per cent reduced residents’ rate across some of the council’s car parks and bringing back three hours of free blue badge parking.

New colour-coded car park bands have been introduced to help motorists plan their journey to avoid congestion and pay less. Each car park has been given a band between one and five and drivers will pay the same rate for every car park in the same band.

All of these changes begin on 1 April and are designed to create a fairer and simpler parking system for residents and visitors.

Cllr Ricketts added:

“We’re really pleased to be bringing in some long-overdue changes to the current car parking system, including introducing a special residents’ rate to support local people as well as increasing free parking for blue badge holders, which was reduced by the previous council.

“Although prices will rise in some car parks to ensure important council services are protected, we hope that these three measures in particular will go a long way to minimise the impact on residents and businesses.”

Find out more about the Sturry Road park and ride reopening – which will be at 10am on 1 April due to that day being a bank holiday – and visit the website to view the full car parking changes. Applications for the reduced parking rates cannot be accepted until 1 April while the council builds and tests the IT system that will run it.

By Ed

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