Car park boost for Christmas shoppers

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EXTRA parking is being laid on in Hemel Hempstead in the run-up to Christmas to boost the number of shoppers.

The top deck of the Water Gardens car park – currently devoted to all-day users – will change on December 7 so anyone can use it.

The move will free up a potential 312 parking spots in the busy festive shopping period.

Councillor Julie Laws, cabinet chief for environmental services at Dacorum Borough Council, said: “We’re trying to make that car park more flexible to get usage in there and we’re doing it to encourage Christmas shoppers to help boost Hemel.

“At the moment it’s rather under-used.

“Hopefully it will attract more people to come and shop here for Christmas.”

The change is part of an overhaul of charges in the borough’s car parks, which come into force next April.

A range of increases have been agreed that will raise a predicted £81,000 next year.

The cost of parking all day will rise by between 30p and 50p but in some car parks it will drop and in the Water Gardens it will stay at £3.50.

However, charges for shorter stays in the Water Gardens will rise.

The price of visitor vouchers in residents’ parking zones will increase to £4 and £12 a book.

A public consultation on the changes runs until December 15.

Council spokesman Luisa Clarke said: “Anyone wishing to object to the proposals should write by December 15 to the Lead Officer Parking Policy, Dacorum Borough Council, Civic Centre, Marlowes, Hemel Hemsptead, HP1 1HH.”