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We live in one of ‘UK’s most expensive’ cities to park… it costs a fortune to shop – the council has made MILLIONS


DRIVERS in one of the UK’s most expensive cities for parking say it costs them a fortune just to go shopping.

Prices are so high in Canterbury, Kent, the council has raked in £45million from disgruntled motorists in the last five years.

Sarah Goodson often visits an out-of-town shopping centre to avoid the high parking costs in Canterbury, Kent

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Sarah Goodson often visits an out-of-town shopping centre to avoid the high parking costs in Canterbury, KentCredit: Steve Finn
Canterbury City Council has raked in £45million in parking fees over the last five years

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Canterbury City Council has raked in £45million in parking fees over the last five yearsCredit: Steve Finn

It costs around £3.30 an hour in the centre, with a 30p increase set for the new year.

It puts the cathedral city at number five in the list of the UK’s most expensive cities for on-street parking, just behind Manchester, according to figures from Enjoy Travel.

Locals say the extortionate fees put them off travelling, leaving local businesses empty in the run-up to Christmas.

Fran Partridge, 51, who lives in Herne Bay, said her 86-year-old mum wouldn’t go into Canterbury if she didn’t have a disabled badge which allows her to park for free.

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The full-time carer added: “It’s extremely expensive. That’s the only reason we are able to come into town.

“I tend to walk or get the bus [if I’m on my own] as it’s hard finding a space to park and the fees are silly.”

Sarah Goodson, 44, also from Herne Bay, often visits an out-of-town shopping centre to avoid the high costs.

“It’s £7 for a short stay of two hours so it’s rare I go into Canterbury,” the mum-of-two hairdresser said.

“I’ll go to Westwood Cross in Broadstairs instead because it’s free.”

Ex-fireman John, from Folkestone, agreed, adding: “You are here for a few hours and it costs around £7.80.

“It’s not loads but it does add up.”

The dad-of-five, 59, suggested the local authority should start offering free parking to visitors who spend money in local shops.

“It could be a thank you to encourage more people to visit,” he added.

Nigel, from Sittingbourne, also thinks parking fees should be scrapped, particularly for festive shoppers.

The 73-year-old said: “There was a time when the council offered free parking at Christmas in an attempt to get people to spend more money.

“If they make it too expensive here, people will only go to places where it’s free.

“Why would you pay all that money when you can go to other places for nothing?”

It’s very expensive and that deters some people

Local resident Tanya Bubb

Tim Durston, 60, agrees. He said: “I think parking should be free. It would be good for the town.”

And Sue Gray, a 66-year-old sleep coach from Deal, said: “I come in twice a month and it costs me a fair bit.

“Free parking would be good for the town.”

Canterbury resident Tanya Bubb is convinced people are put off by the costly tickets.

The part-time school kitchen worker, 49, said: “It’s very expensive and that deters some people.

“The town isn’t as busy as it used to be and parking expense might be a contributing factor in that.”

Derrick Elvy, 70, a retired builder, also from Canterbury, described the fees as “ridiculous”.

‘EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE’

The dad-of-one added: “I stay away from the city centre usually because it’s extremely expensive.

“I’d come in more often if it was more reasonable, definitely.

“I was born and bred here but I’d rather go to Westwood Cross, the shopping centre, where it’s free.

“It’s a long drive but even with the petrol it’s cheaper than coming here.”

Billie Clark, 38, from Herne Bay, is also a regular at Westwood Cross.

The mum-of-three said: “It’s too expensive in town.

“We went to the pantomime the other night and it cost us £11.

“Even if you’re there for an hour it can cost you £5.

“I come in two or three times a week and use the free parking at the big Sainsbury’s, but that’s a bit out of the centre and it’s only for two hours.

“I often go to Westwood Shopping centre instead as it’s free there.”

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Canterbury County Council brought in £44,762,934 in parking fees over the last five years – more than double its nearest competitors in the area.

Figures obtained by KentOnline through Freedom of Information requests revealed the next-biggest earners, Thanet and Maidstone, generated under £17m each.

Derrick Elvy, a retired builder, described the fees as 'ridiculous'

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Derrick Elvy, a retired builder, described the fees as ‘ridiculous’Credit: Steve Finn
John, 59, wants the local authority to offer free parking to shoppers

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John, 59, wants the local authority to offer free parking to shoppersCredit: Steve Finn
It costs an average of £3.30 an hour to park in Canterbury

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It costs an average of £3.30 an hour to park in CanterburyCredit: Steve Finn
Sue Gray agreed that free parking would be good for the area

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Sue Gray agreed that free parking would be good for the areaCredit: Steve Finn
Canterbury is ranked as the UK city with the fifth most expensive parking

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Canterbury is ranked as the UK city with the fifth most expensive parkingCredit: Steve Finn

The most expensive UK cities for on-street parking (per hour)

  1. City of London (£5.10 per hour)
  2. Edinburgh (£4.60 per hour)
  3. Bristol (£4 per hour)
  4. Manchester (£3.50 per hour)
  5. Canterbury (£3.30 per hour)
  6. Kingston upon Hull (£3 per hour)
  7. Leeds (£2.80 per hour)
  8. Brighton (£2.40 per hour)
  9. Liverpool (£2.40 per hour)
  10. Derby (£2.30 per hour)

(According to EasyTravel.com)





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