Source: St Albans City and District
Major changes are to be made to the way public car parks in St Albans District are managed.
St Albans City and District Council are taking back full control of 15 car parks it owns in St Albans and three that it has in Harpenden.
All are currently run on the Council’s behalf by private firm NCP with the contracts expiring on Thursday 3 October. The Council will now manage the sites itself from the following day.
In the short term, most motorists will notice little if any change to the parking facilities and services with charges remaining the same.
Car park staff below senior management level will retain their jobs with the Council becoming their employer.
In the longer term, it is planned to further modernise the car parks with significant investment in new technology and other features.
This will be helped by the Council retaining all the revenues generated by the car parks rather than sharing them with the contractors.
The Council is also taking control of parking enforcement for the District. This has been managed by NSL since 2004.
Councillor Chris White, Council Leader and Portfolio Holder for Climate and Environment, said: “Resuming control of our car parks is a progressive move that will be of considerable benefit to residents and visitors.
“We thank NCP and NSL for the services they have provided over the last few years, but I feel it is time that we moved to a less remote regime.
“By taking back the management to a team firmly based in St Albans, I believe we can be more responsive to the parking requirements of our residents and visitors.
“We are also committed to using the extra revenue we will acquire to modernise our car parks where necessary.
“I’m confident that the transition will go smoothly and that at first most people will barely notice any difference to the service with the charges staying exactly the same until at least the next review.”
Drivers who will be affected from the start date are NCP season ticket and senior citizen permit holders.
They will have to complete some paperwork to switch to Council-authorised permits at no extra cost.
NCP has written to their season ticket holders explaining what they need to do to make the move.
Holders of senior citizen permits have been sent a letter explaining how to apply for a Council permit when it is next time to renew.
Cllr White said: “The changes for permit and season ticket holders as well as senior citizens are purely administrative and I urge those involved to carry out the simple instructions they have been sent.”
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