Published: 15:13, 09 April 2021
| Updated: 16:11, 09 April 2021
As Kent commuters begin to return to the office, they will find the cost of their journey has gone up.
Not only did rail fares rise by 2.6% at the start of March, but now from April 1, the Southeastern train company has increased the cost of parking at its stations by an average of 2.6%.
All fees are rounded to the nearest 10p, so some will have gone up by more than 2.6%, some less.
A spokesman said: “We know that no one likes to see car park prices go up, but we are mindful also of the taxpayer support that helps us meet the costs of running, maintaining and improving our network as the country opens up again, and people return to trains.
"This increase is the first since January 2020, and the lowest increase in four years.”
The new tariffs have been timed to coincide with a change in the contract for the firm managing the car parks on behalf of Southeastern, with APCOA Parking Limited taking over from the previous agent Saba.
APCOA is making other changes too. Principally it is doing away with cash payment machines within the car parks.
It will still be possible to pay for parking by cash or card at a Southeastern ticket vending machine, or at the station ticket office, but the company expects the majority of customers to now pay online using an app on their mobile phone.
Those choosing to pay cash in the station will have to return to their vehicle to display a ticket, whereas phone users will not need a ticket.
Existing season tickets with Saba will continue to be valid until their current expiry date.
Blue Badge holders can park free of charge in the disabled bays, or in standard bays if there are no disabled bays available.
Motorcyclists can park free of charge in the designated motorcycle bays, available at selected stations.
A full day's parking at Maidstone East will now cost £6.20; at Maidstone West £6.30 and at Paddock Wood £6.50.
Weekly, monthly and yearly season tickets are available.
A full year's season ticket at Maidstone East will cost £1,114.50; at Maidstone West £1,093.20, and at Paddock Wood £1,146.80.
At Snodland a year's parking will be £597.50 and at Headcorn £1,120.80.
For Ashford International car park A, the figures are £8.30 daily and £1,364.30 for an annual season.
At Canterbury West it is now £7.70 daily and £1,282.10pa.
At Chatham, £7 daily, £1,189.90 pa.
At Dartford, £7.30 daily and £1,278.90pa.
And at Dover Priory, £6 daily and £1,009.10 pa.
For the full price tariffs, visit here.
All cash purchase machines will be withdrawn by May 31.
Parking at Ebbsfleet International is unaffected by the changes and so is Rochester Station, where the car park is run by the local council.