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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article20 June 20231 min read

Winchester to end free overnight parking in its central car parks

The city authorities in the English city of Winchester have approved a new policy on off-street overnight parking in the city. Starting from July 2023, overnight parking in the car parks of the city centre, i.e. between 7 pm and 8 am, will no longer be free of charge, but cost the equivalent of 2 hours of the rate charged during the day.

The new night-time parking policy has been discussed with the Winchester Business Improvement District, which has understood the reason behind the charges. The new overnight parking tariff will be subject to annual reviews. The rates will not affect residents, as their parking needs are met by an off-peak season ticket starting from October 2023.

The change to the overnight parking charges is part of the Winchester Movement Strategy, according to Councillor Kelsie Learney, Cabinet member for climate emergency. The city is taking incremental steps towards reducing congestion risks by encouraging people to stay on the city's edges and arrive in the centre using means other than the private car.

There have been opposition voices that are concerned that the overnight parking charges in the city centre will harm Winchester’s night-time economy, while they are also concerned by the unclear impact of the measure on improving air quality and reaching net-zero emissions. 

In smaller English cities, such as Winchester, parking policy is split between the city authorities and the larger County Council. The city is waiting for approval from the County Council for the new policy, and is also working with the County on aligning on-street parking conditions with those of the new off-street parking charging scheme.



Publication date
20 June 2023
  • Traffic and demand management
  • United Kingdom