A strategy that will decide the future of off-street parking in the district has been endorsed by councillors.

The 2018-2023 policy document was agreed at a meeting of Huntingdonshire District Council's cabinet on Thursday.

Town and parish councils were consulted and the results of an online survey, launched in July last year, were used to draw up the strategy.

Within the document, the council has set out short, medium, and longer-term goals, among which were the possible introduction of more cashless payment options for council car parks.

The document also sets out options for more electric charging points, and assessments could also be carried out to see if council-run car parks could be utilised to generate renewable electricity.

Executive councillor for operations and regulation, Marge Beuttell said: "This strategy covers the operation of off-street car parking, which the district council has responsibility for."

She added: "Although members of the parking task and finish group agreed with the principle that car park users should 'pay for what they use', fees and charges were not reviewed in the strategy document. However, it should be noted that the principles included within this strategy will be referred to in the future, should fees and charges be considered."

The strategy also looks at improved security - with cameras, barriers, and new lighting to be considered - as well as the layout and configuration of the car parks, to see if improvements can be made to the size of bays and the cleanliness of parks.

Within the document, the district council also sets out its aim to "ensure car parking fees are lower than the average index of car parking charges of our comparator authorities".

The strategy was aligned with the district council's 'delivering sustainable growth' principles contained in its corporate plan, which sets out to deliver "a car parking strategy that is sustainable and supportive of residents, visitors and local businesses".

The task and finish group said: "Failure to endorse the evidence based parking strategy would impact the future direction and development of the parking service in its support of economic growth and development of towns within Huntingdonshire."

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