DRIVERS can expect to be paying more for their parking this year after council bosses agreed to increase parking charges.

Halstead Town Council met on Monday to discuss their budget for 2022 to 2023.

In the talk, councillors agreed to make changes to the town's car park prices.

It will be the first time in three years the car parking changes have increased and comes as the payment methods for the car park have been upgraded.

At a budget seminar in 2020, the council agreed to freeze charges due to it no being appropriate to raise prices during the pandemic.

The car parks in Halstead now features contactless payment methods and a new MiPermit payment app will be launched in April.

The council say the move is because costs have increased and the funds raised will help pay for new contactless pay and display machines and would simplify counting any remaining cash if all charges are multiples of £1.

Changes to the prices are said to take effect from April 1.

Short stay pay and display prices will increase with stays of up to 90 minutes and up to three hours currently costing 70p and £1.50.

These will increase to £1 and £2 respectively while stays of up to six hours and over 6 hours remain unchanged.

However, the pay and display prices still remain cheaper than the prices in Braintree and Colchester where a stay of one hour can cost £1 in Braintree and £2.10 in Colchester.

Season tickets for parking have also increased with the price of a 12 month ticket at Chapel Street car prising from £330 to £360.

Other car parks in the town have seen their 12 months long ticket prices rise from £266 to £300.

However this is also cheaper than in Braintree and Colchester with year long tickets costing £550 and £1,800 respectively.

It is also understood new signage for the car parks is on the way.

Mayor Mick Radley said: "During the Covid pandemic people have required and become more familiar with to contactless methods of payment for many items.

"Halstead Town Council has decided to modernise and offer more flexibility in the payment of car park charges.

"New contactless payment pay and display machines have already been introduced and the MiPermit app payment will be launched in April 2022.

"Increased costs have, however, led to the need to reluctantly increase car park charges for the first time in three years. These charges will take effect from 1st April 2022."