Standardised charges

From Monday 6 September 2021, standardised parking charges will apply at all current chargeable council car parks, and Birkenhead’s on-street controlled parking zone.

The charges will be: £1 each hour for up to four hours and £5 for over 4 hours or all day (so £1 for 1 hour; £2 for up to 2 hours; £3 for up to 3 hours; £4 for up to 4 hours).

Standardised charges mean that, whichever council owned car park or on-street parking location you use in Wirral, it will cost you the same.

The charges follow a decision made by the council’s Environment Climate Emergency and Transport Committee in June 2021 and Decision Review Committee in August 2021.

New locations for parking charges

The decision made also allows the council to bring in parking charges at some new locations. These may include some on-street coastal locations and some car parks that are currently free.

A decision has not yet been made on exactly which locations these will be, and before any charges at new locations are introduced, the council must follow a statutory process. The suggested new locations for charging will require a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 before any charges can be introduced there.

This means that these new locations must be consulted on and there must be time for people to comment or object. All feedback will then be taken back to the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee before any decisions are taken to introduce charges at new locations.

Due to the process, parking charges will not be introduced at any new locations until 2022.

Resident parking schemes are separate to the above procedure. Applications for resident parking schemes will be dealt with individually and only after the new charges have been decided.

What are council parking charges?

The council charges the public for parking at certain car parks and at some on-street locations.  Until now, 6 September 2021, the council’s parking charges have not increased since 2017 and the charges have been varied between locations.

The council is then able to use parking charges to help manage traffic.

What are the standardised charges?

The new parking charges will be £1 per hour, up to a maximum of £5 for all day parking. The charges will be:

  • £1 for up to 1 hour
  • £2 for up to 2 hours
  • £3 for up to 3 hours
  • £4 for up to 4 hours
  • £5 for over 4 hours or all day

These standardised charges will mean that parking in any council owned location in Wirral will cost the same.

  • Car park permits are available for traders at £600 per year
  • Wirral Country Park Permits are available for all users £100 per year

When are the standardised charges going to start from?

The new standard tariffs (charges) will be introduced at all current council owned parking locations from Monday 6 September 2021.

How can I pay for parking?

All payments are currently cashless. Motorists can pay for parking in one the following 3 ways:

  1. JustPark parking app - view details here on our website
  2. By telephone:
    - call the number provided
    - enter the location ID
    - choose the length of time you want to park
    - say your number plate
    - enter your card details
  3. Card payment – either by contactless payment or by inserting the card into the card reader

Why are you increasing parking charges?

The council is in a difficult financial position and as part of the process of setting a balanced budget for 2021/22 year, the council approved raising an additional £1million from parking charges.

The first stage of raising these funds is by standardising the parking charges for all council parking locations. This will be introduced from 6 September 2021. The second stage of raising these funds will be introducing parking charges at new locations. This will take longer, and the public will have a chance to have their say on this before they are introduced.

The council also hope that parking charges will help encourage less car use and more use of active travel such as walking and cycling or public transport like buses and trains which will help Wirral meets its climate targets.

Won't the increased tariffs and charging at new locations harm local business?

It is thought that people who walk or cycle or take public transport may spend longer at the shops and spend more money. The council is doing a study into parking and parking charges, the results of which will be published by the end of 2021.

Where are the new locations that parking charges are going to be introduced?

The new locations where parking charges could be introduced will include some council off-street car parks that are currently free. These are Bromborough, Bebington, Irby, Hoylake, and New Brighton. Parking charges are also proposed to be introduced at some on-street coastal locations including New Brighton, West Kirby, Leasowe, and Hoylake.

Decisions have not yet been made on exactly which car park locations will be selected or the particular coastal area roads or extents of on-street charges that charges will apply to those roads.

Each of the suggested new locations for charging will require a separate Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 before any charges can be introduced there. This process will take time. Parking charges will therefore not be introduced at any new locations until 2022.

When are the charges for the new locations going to come in?

Before any charges can be brought in at any new locations the council will need to follow statutory processes, called a Traffic Regulation Order, which will include time for the public to make objections and comments. All comments and objections will be referred back to the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee before any decisions are taken.  As a result, it is unlikely there will be any charges in new locations until 2022.

I’m concerned that the proposed parking charges may lead to displaced parking outside my house, what are the council going to do about it?

It’s not possible to say exactly what might happen following the introduction of parking charges so each location will be monitored. Additional traffic management measures such as residents parking zones and yellow lines will be considered where essential for the safety of road users.

I don’t have any off-street parking at my house, will I be provided with a resident pass to be exempt for the charges?

The council is not obliged to provide on-street parking for residents. The council’s roads and streets are a public highway and available for all legal road users to access.

Can my neighbours and I apply to have a residents parking scheme for our road?

There are currently strict criteria that need to be met for residents parking schemes to be implemented. View details of the current scheme  

The council is currently reviewing its residents parking policy, applicable criteria, and charges for permits.

Applications for new resident parking schemes that are a result of the new parking charges will only be considered once the impacts have been fully reviewed and there may need to be a new application process for residents to apply to.

I am a volunteer for the council. Will I be entitled to any parking concessions?

The council currently provides a limited number of permits to some volunteer groups in some of our country parks.

Volunteers play a huge role in helping Wirral look its best and the council will continue to offer a permit for those that provide valuable public service so that they are exempt from paying parking charges. Permits will, however, be limited and the distribution and sharing of permits would need to be managed by a council officer and the secretary of the group concerned.

Groups (not individual volunteers) may talk to our parking team and request a permit by emailing parking.engineer@wirral.gov.uk

How can I have my say on the Traffic Regulation Order to introduce these new charges?

Each of the suggested new locations for charging will require a separate Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 to be made before any charges can be introduced there.

The TRO process includes a statutory consultation stage. This requires the council to publish notices in the press and allow a minimum period of 21 days for responses. Notices will be published when the locations and extents have been determined which is not likely to be until early 2022.