Completely free parking in Salisbury has now ended

Free parking - parking meter covered up in Central car park Salisbury in May 2018

Published by The Spire FM News Team at 5:42am 14th May 2018.

We'll now have to pay on weekday mornings to use Wiltshire Council car parks, after feedback from local businesses.

Changes come into force TODAY (Monday May 14th) to the 'totally free parking' scheme in Salisbury, introduced in the wake of the spy poisoning incident

After feedback from local shops and businesses, Wiltshire Council has decided to start charging once again in their car parks until 12.00pm midday, Monday to Friday.

The car parks will remain free from midday onwards on weekdays, and will be free all day on weekends and Bank Holidays.

All 5 of the Park and Ride sites around the city will remain free all day, every day.

Parking - Central car park Salisbury - May 2018 (Mike Draper)


From May 14th, parking in Wiltshire Council car park in Salisbury will be:

  • Free from MIDDAY on weekdays (Mon - Fri)
  • Free at weekends (Sat - Sun) as well as Bank Holidays
  • P&R bus service remains free at all five sites


Wiltshire Council has told Spire FM News the changes are being made with the full support of local business and Salisbury BID, after gathering feedback on the impact of free parking in the last six weeks.

There have been concerns that commuters have been taking up all the spaces in car parks early each morning, leaving fewer spaces for shoppers and tourists.

It was hoped the scheme would encourage 'churn' in those spaces to help boost trade in the city centre while the cordons remain in place and the decontamination process is still underway.


The leader of Wiltshire Council, Jane Scott, has been speaking to Spire FM about the changes, and why they've been brought in:

Wraps will come off the meters on May 14th when free parking will only apply after midday Mon-Fri and at weekends
Wraps will come off the meters on May 14th when 'free' parking in Salisbury will only apply after midday on weekdays (Mon-Fri) and all day Saturday and Sunday


Today's change is the first since the scheme was started up on March 24th.

Parking charges were suspended amid the huge investigation into the nerve agent attack on the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the city centre.

After that incident, which happened at the beginning of March, local businesses reported a huge downturn in footfall because of what had happened.

Wiltshire Council's aim was to try and encourage those people who'd stayed away from Salisbury as a result of the Skripal poisoning incident to come back and visit the city to shop, dine and support Salisbury.

Standard 'full parking charges' in Salisbury aren't anticipated any time soon, and according to Wiltshire Council, they aren't even 'on the table for discussion' at the moment.

Free P&R - Commuters are being encouraged to use Salisbury's Park and Ride service. A park and ride bus collects passengers at the Britford P&R site
Free P&R - Commuters encouraged to use Salisbury's Park and Ride service


The Wiltshire Council' spokesperson also told Spire FM News:

"We are trying to encourage all those commuters, who've been parking for free in the city centre all day, to now use Salisbury's Park and Ride bus service, which remains completely free of charge."

"Please remember! With parking charges resuming in the mornings from May 14th, what we don't want is motorists getting penalty notices because they think it's still free all day. We'll do what we can to make sure it's clear, and we'll be putting signs up at all the Wiltshire Council run car parks."


Parking at the shopping centre had also been suspended while the incident was ongoing, but full charges are being reinstated there from today (Monday May 14th).

Jon Osgood, Manager at Salisbury's Old George Mall shopping centre has told Spire FM News:

"Whilst the introduction of free car parking was a huge bonus for the city, and the Old George Mall fully supported the council’s decision, it has been the cause of some frustration to our shoppers and tourists that they have been unable to secure a parking bay due to spaces being occupied by commuters and people working in the city centre.

“We feel that the re-introduction of our full tariffs will allow spaces to become available for shoppers and tourists to take advantage of Salisbury’s retailers, pubs and restaurants and the many tourist attractions we have to offer. 

“This is particularly important in the summer season and will further help the recovery of Salisbury as a destination of choice. We look forward to welcoming many more locals and visitors to the centre and our fantastic city.”

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