The price of on-street parking along Shore Road in Swanage is to increase by an inflation-busting 72 percent, making it one of the most expensive places to park a car in the county.
The new parking charges, to be introduced by Dorset Council, will start from Friday 28th April 2023.
Shore Road runs parallel to Swanage’s sandy beach
Swanage Town Council was not consulted
Dorset Council is also increasing the on-street parking price in Weymouth and in its car parks elsewhere in the county, including Corfe Castle’s West Street car park.
In Swanage, Dorset Council doesn’t own any car parks – they are owned by Swanage Town Council – but as the highway authority it does control the cost of on-street parking in the town.
Swanage Town Council says it was not consulted on this price increase and was only informed via email at the same time as the media at 5.15 pm on Wednesday 29th March 2023 after the council offices had closed for the day.
Ability to access the beach by car is one of Swanage’s attractions, especially for the less mobile
Shore Road parking charges
Increases from Friday 28th April 2023
All year round, daytime 8 am to 6 pm
- 1 hour: £4.30
- 2 hours: £6
- 3 hours: £7.70
- 4 hours: £10.30
- 10 hours: £20.60
- Overnight 6 pm to 8 am: £7
Current Shore Road parking charges
All year round, daytime 8 am to 6 pm
- 1 hour: £2.50
- 2 hours: £3.50
- 3 hours: £4.50
- 4 hours: £6
- 10 hours: £12
- Overnight 6 pm to 8 am: £4
On-street parking charges in Station Road in Swanage town centre will not be increased. Also remaining the same will be the cost of on-street parking in Wareham, Blandford and Dorchester.
The cost of on-street parking will not be going up in Station Road in Swanage’s shopping area
Weymouth facing similar 72 percent parking charge increase
In Weymouth, its on-street parking prices are increasing. On the Esplanade (northern end) near the beach, there’s a maximum of four hours parking which is to rise by 72 percent for four hours from £6 to £10.30.
At Westham Bridge by Weymouth Harbour, the price for parking in the summer for 10 hours is to rise to £15, but will be reduced to £9 in the winter.
Swanage car park increase is modest in comparison
In Swanage, the price of parking in a car park owned by the town council is also going up from Saturday 1st April 2023.
However in the summer season, the new cost for car and motor caravans up to 24 hours at the Main Beach car park and Broad Road car park, will only increase by £1 from £8 to £9.
The cost for the same period at the North Beach car park will rise from £6 to £7. North Beach car park remains free in the winter.
Residents may also apply for a permit to receive a discount in Swanage Town Council car parks.
Swanage Town Council owns the car parks in the town including Broad Road car park where prices are rising but not to the same extent as the Dorset Council car parks elsewhere
“Extra income to help us meet the rising costs of running our parking service”
Dorset Council says that its increases have been limited to “busy tourist areas” with the aim of limiting the effect on residents.
Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, councillor Ray Bryan said:
“We have designed the tariff increases so they have the least impact on Dorset residents and workers, while bringing in extra income to help us meet the rising costs of running our parking service and maintaining our car parks.”
Residents as well as visitors appreciate the view across Swanage Bay
“Overlooks the number of local people who like to spend a tranquil hour or two parked in Shore Road”
However councillor Bill Trite who represents Swanage on Dorset Council is not convinced. He said:
“It’s an alarming increase – albeit Dorset Council’s on-street parking charges only apply to Swanage in respect of Shore Road and Station Road.
“It’s cold comfort that such charges are increasing across the whole county, in order to meet the need of balancing income against recent severe hikes in costs and expenditure.
“Councillors representing Swanage were not consulted about the increases that would be impacting here, but they certainly should have been.
“The stated intention is to target visitors rather than residents, but that overlooks the number of local people who like to spend a tranquil hour or two parked in Shore Road enjoying the view out to sea.”
Increased parking in residential roads
Dorset Council did not respond to a request by Swanage.News to comment on why it had increased the parking charges along Shore Road by up to 72 percent, which is used by residents with young children and the less mobile to access the beach, as well as visitors.
It is not known whether Dorset Council gave any consideration to the possibility of increased parking in residential roads in Swanage.
It is known that Dorset Council is considering introducing residents’ parking permits in Swanage.
- All the details of the new parking charges across the whole of the Dorset Council area are on its website