Three hours free parking to be considered for Hatfield

Hatfield parking could become free for up to three hours

Hatfield parking could become free for up to three hours - Credit: WHBC

A proposal for parking to be free for up to three hours in Hatfield is set to be considered by the borough council. 

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's cabinet planning and parking panel (CPPP) will meet next week to consider whether to introduce new parking restrictions in the town. 

The news follows a consultation on the council’s proposals to introduce new long-stay options across all town centre car parks from May 17, following the opening of the multi-storey scheduled for early spring. 

Parking would remain free for three hours under the proposals, inlcuding at the multi-storey, with charges of £3.50 for three to four hours and £6.50 all-day agreed as part of the council’s budget setting process.  

If proposals are approved by CPPP on Thursday, March 4 and cabinet on March 9, Hatfield will remain the only town in Hertfordshire to offer free parking for up to three hours. 

Business season tickets are set at £200 per year – around 70p per day for the average local worker – including the option to pay quarterly. 

The car parks would be open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Restrictions are proposed to apply Monday to Saturday 7am to 6pm, in line with Welwyn Garden City. 

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Welwyn Hatfield borough councillor Stephen Boulton, the executive member for environment, said: “Our early engagement with businesses demonstrated support for allowing greater flexibility in Hatfield car parks for longer stays.

"We believe charging for over three hours addresses businesses' concerns, while preventing the misuse of the cark park by commuters not visiting the town centre.”   

Currently, Lemsford Road is the only current long stay car park with 149 four-hour and unrestricted parking spaces, while Link Drive is now for permit holders and Dog Kennel Lane, Asda, the Fourways temporary car park, Kennelwood Lane, and Wellfield Road are temporary.

The multi-storey, part-funded through a £4.8m Local Growth Fund contribution from the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), was built to consolidate surface-level car parking, freeing up sites elsewhere for new homes, shops and leisure. 

The total budget for the build is £6m. The remaining £1.2m is being funded from the council's capital projects budget.

The running cost of the multi-storey is estimated to be £190k per year with the income generated by the proposals estimated at £178k. The multi-storey would therefore require a £12k subsidy from the council.

The CPPP paper can be viewed online and further information is available in the council’s Hatfield parking FAQs.