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Coronavirus Kent: Council's car parks made free

A council has made its car parks and pay and display bays free, in Sevenoaks, as it responds to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Sevenoaks District Council is suspending parking charges across its sites from tomorrow, until further notice.

Car parking charges in one part of Kent are to become free, until further notice
Car parking charges in one part of Kent are to become free, until further notice

The relaxation of charges applies to council car parks and on-street parking in Knockholt, Sevenoaks, Swanley and Westerham, including all commuter and long-stay sites.

Regular patrols will continue to check drivers park safely and motorists will still need to follow rules, including the maximum stay.

Season ticket and non-resident permit holders will be entitled to a pro-rata credit when they next renew. They will not lose their season ticket or permit allocation if they do not renew while the charges are suspended.

Cllr Margot McArthur, the council’s cabinet member for cleaner and greener, says: “These are difficult times for everyone. Suspending our parking charges throughout the district is the right thing to do."

Maidstone Borough Council has also temporarily relaxed parking restrictions for resident bays during the pandemic.

The changes come into effect now and were made as the council realised many people needed to leave their cars on the street all day, while they were working from home.

The suspension last until Wednesday, July 1.

Jeff Kitson, the council's parking services manager, said: “As some residents are self-isolating and many are now working from home, we have seen a significant increase in parking within residential areas as the evening peak demand has now moved to the day when the limited waiting restrictions are applied for non-permit holders.

“We are reacting to a situation which is new to us all and have done so as quickly as we can.

“It is important to stress double yellow lines and single yellow lines, which are of course placed to protect junctions and ensure highway safety, will remain active."

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