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Car park charges to return in Tonbridge and Malling

Parking charges in council-owned car parks in Tonbridge and Malling will return next week.

Ticket machines will be switched back on from Friday, May 29, two months after they were turned off at the start of lockdown.

Ticket machines in Tonbridge and Malling with be back on from Friday, May 29
Ticket machines in Tonbridge and Malling with be back on from Friday, May 29

It comes as more people return to work and school prepare to reopen for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 on Monday, June 1.

It also follows KentOnline's report revealing Kent councils have been losing more than £3 million a month in parking revenue during the pandemic, including around £300,000 for Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council (TMBC) alone.

Other local authorities, including in Dover and Gravesham, have likewise decided to re-introduce parking fees in the coming weeks.

However, TMBC has deferred proposed increases in charges due to be implemented in April, along with plans to introduce charging at free car parks in Aylesford, Larkfield and Snodland.

The move is the latest step towards restoring council services which were suspended during the “stay home” phase of the government’s pandemic response.

Weekly household waste collections are now operating as normal in the borough and outdoor leisure facilities, including ball courts and tennis courts, have re-opened.

Committee meetings have also resumed online with the first meeting of cabinet held earlier this week.

A TMBC spokesman said: "Anyone using the car parks is being reminded to observe hand hygiene and to consider using mobile payment. Drivers paying with cash at the machines are urged to wear gloves or to wash or sanitise their hands before and afterwards."

Director of street scene, leisure and technical services, Robert Styles, added: "With more people returning to work and our roads and towns getting busier, we want to ensure sufficient parking is available and there is a turnover in spaces. Extra signage will be in place to remind people of the need to pay and to observe hand hygiene."

Read more: All the latest news from Tonbridge

Read more: All the latest news from Malling


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