Private company to take over Welwyn Garden City car parks

CAR parks in WGC will be managed by a private company from next month, it has been agreed.

Welwyn Hatfield Council will hand over the management of its five car parks - Campus West, Campus East, Hunters Bridge, Church Road and Osborn Way – to car park specialists CP-Plus from July.

The deal was agreed last night (Tuesday) at a confidential cabinet meeting at Campus West.

The new contract will see the introduction of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) in all car parks managed by CP-Plus, with data from the cameras calculating when a vehicle has entered and left the car park.

And a new flexible payment scheme will allow customers to pay either with cash, online or by mobile phone.

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The deal will also see five council workers transfer to CP-Plus under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE), with a further four taking voluntary redundancy.

The arrangement is expected to save the council around �50,000 a year.

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“The savings offered by this contract means that the council can continue to save money as we move out of recession,” said councillor Roger Trigg, executive member for transport.

“The flexibility offered to users of the car parks is also very beneficial, particularly for users on the go – there’s minimised queuing for payment machines, and people can run for that train and pay by text once they’re on their way.”

The contract was also endorsed by Lib Dem councillor Tony Skottowe, who last year criticised the cabinet for seeking to privatise car parking, even though a project management board that councillor Skottowe sat on decided not enough money would be saved through privatisation.

“The reason we rejected the proposals originally is because we didn’t believe the savings,” said Cllr Skottowe.

“The officers went back and had another look and it’s come up with a very interesting scheme I think.

“It uses ANPR which opens up all sorts of possibilities, and there’s no forced redundancies, which is great.

“This is a much better project than the last one, and goes to show that sub committees can do a good job, and has done so here.”

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