CHANGES are set to be made to car parking in the national park, as Pembrokeshire County Council consider upping charges in their car parks.

A series of future priorities for car parking in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park were endorsed by members of the park’s authority at their meeting on Wednesday, November 29.

Priorities included introducing charges at four additional car parks: West Angle, Penally, Amroth and Nolton Haven; extending the charging hours from 9am-5pm to 9am-7pm; and increasing daily coach parking rates from £3 to £8.

Members heard that taking these moves forward would require a change to the car parking order currently in force.

Members of Angle, Penally, Amroth and Roch community councils would also need to be consulted about changes to car parks in their areas.

The national park’s officers will also look into updating pay and display machines at car parks so members of the public can buy tickets with debit cards or contactless payment.

BT Openreach have conducted a survey into how ticket machines could be connected to the network to handle card payments. Findings of this survey will be presented to the park authority at a later date.

“As the cabinet member having to negotiate my way through Pembrokeshire County Council’s charges, I know how difficult those changes are,” said Cllr Phil Baker.

He compared the situation of the national park to Pembrokeshire County Council’s future car parking options currently under discussion, which could substantially reduce the local authority’s parking budget deficit.

Members also heard what the car parking priorities in the national park had been in the 2017 season.

Approximately £410,000 net was collected from VAT parking receipts in the last year, while operating costs for the charging season for 2017 were £79,000.

Dr Rachel Heath-Davies raised concerns about the effectiveness of enforcing penalty notices at car parks.

Park officer Gary Meopham said parking enforcement was carried out by Pembrokeshire County Council on behalf of the national park for an annual fee of £12,000.