Massive car parks overhaul nears completion


The district council’s transformation of how we use car parks continues apace, with the current sprint of upgrades due to conclude by the end of May 2019.

I’ve been closely involved with this project, from inception through to delivery, which turns simple pay-and-display car parks into advanced systems that are easier to use, fairer and more efficient.

We’ve created an online account that not only manages parking, allowing users to drive-in-drive-out of the upgraded car parks without visiting a pay machine, but also forms part of a wider council account that will be used for tracking issues and managing our relationship with council services. 7,800 people have now signed up, with 15,000 expected to do so by the end of the year.

We’ve eliminated the need for paper parking tickets and moved to a model of charging visitors based on how long they stay, not asking them to guess how long they think they’ll stay. By doing this, we’ve freed up significant enforcement resources from patrolling car parks and deployed them around the city, coast and villages to help residents and businesses with troublesome and inconsiderate parking, including outside schools.

And, in the process of doing this, we’ve laid the foundations for a network of technology to help make our car parks and roads more efficient, less polluting and part of a joined-up approach to managing transport in Canterbury district.

Everything you need to know

Get the online account to drive-in drive-out of car parks across the district:

Blue Badge holders register here to get 3 hours free each day, and join the 750 people who already have:

As well as by online account, you can pay in the car parks by cash, chip-and-pin, contactless and AndroidPay / ApplePay.

All car parks have a payment terminal at the exit barrier; if you reach the barrier with a balance to pay, you can settle it there and then by card or mobile payment.

We’re award-winning! Canterbury City Council won two British Parking Awards this year for its technological approach to car parking across the district. 

Car parks enabled at the time of writing: 

  • Gorrell Tank, Whitstable
  • Middle Wall, Whitstable
  • Neptune, Herne Bay
  • William Street, Herne Bay
  • Longport, Canterbury
  • St Radigunds, Canterbury
  • Millers Field, Canterbury
  • New Dover Park and Ride, Canterbury
  • Sturry Road Park and Ride, Canterbury
  • Wincheap Park and Ride, Canterbury

Car parks coming soon:

  • Queningate, Canterbury
  • Watling Street, Canterbury
  • Pound Lane, Canterbury
  • Castle Street Multi-Storey, Canterbury
  • Castle Row, Canterbury

What has your experience of the upgraded car parks been? I’d love to hear from you so that your feedback can help the system continue to improve. Email me on or call me on 07793 494640

Ben Fitter-Harding is a Conservative councillor in Blean and is standing for re-election in May.


  1. Well done to all involved with this highly impressive technology

    Presumably it will generate a lot of hard data about car park use which will inform future parking strategy.

    This is much needed given the conspicuous absence of a robust business case to justify the MSCP at C West station

    Mere reliance on a crude 3% projected increase in passenger numbers without any publicly available analysis of where those passengers live is quite insufficient evidence to support such a large capital investment.

    But due credit to the ANPR initiative. It is a great scheme

  2. How strange there is no mention of Fitter’s Folly. The monstrous and unwanted multi storey in Station Road West for which he is responsible.

  3. I am pretty sure that the reason for the omission of the MSCP is that ,along with another new building which now “graces “our City, it is in the running for the Carbuncle Cup.

    Must be odds on to make the shortlist at least.

    I try and avert my eyes from both. They are horrible beyond words.

    We don’t need vernacular pastiche.Just good light touch modern design, which is pleasing to look at.

    The Canterbury Society Design awards demonstrated beyond doubt that the skill,talent and imagination is already here and,given an appropriate brief these teams could easily deliver buildings which are rather more spiritually uplifting and in keeping with a forward looking City.

  4. Yes Ben and the officers involved deserve praise for the introduction of ANPR. With a few small issues it has worked well. As others have said however the Multi Storey Car Park will be their negative memory.

    Sadly we have officers from Colin Carmichael downwards who have permitted great visual harm on our city in the last four years. The MSCP attacks our Health, our Conservation Area and our pockets.

    There is at least a partial remedy on May 2nd, to remove the ruling group of councillors but how does democracy let us remove the misguided officers? If they were removed they would take a massive pay off from the council tax payers.

    Ask the candidates what they would do with the officers or would they unlike the present lot of conformists, argue with the false logic of officers?

  5. Just been reading this morning that the Mayor of London has apparently told Transport for London that it must plan to close all its station car parks and use the land for housing..
    This just days after the introduction of the Ultra Low emission Zone !.

    Whether one agrees or not with these policies it has to be conceded that he is taking the AQ issue very seriously .Something that seems to be distinctly lacking here in Canterbury and the city centre in particular.


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