CHARGES at Shaftesbury and Gillingham open air car parks have now been reinstated – and both cash and card payments will be accepted following public backlash.

As lockdown measures start to ease, Dorset Council has anticipated more demand for car parking spaces, resulting in the decision to reintroduce parking fees.

A week after announcing that payments must be cashless only however, using a card and phone system, the authority has confirmed cash payments will now be accepted.

In a statement Dorset Council encouraged the use of contactless payments, as this is "the safest way to avoid the spread of the virus".

It added: “In response to public requests, the council is reinstating cash and card payment methods for drivers who do not use a mobile phone.

"Due to the required use of keypads at payment machines, visitors who choose to pay by cash or card do so at their own risk.

"People are strongly encouraged to wash their hands both before and after using the machines to lower the chance of infection.”

Key workers may continue to use parking facilities without payment until further notice, permitting they have the relevant pass.

To pay using a smartphone download the Just Park app to then register your car and bank card details, or to pay over the phone on arrival at the car park call 01305 235498.

It has been advised to check signage at each car park for the latest and most relevant information and for instructions on how to pay.

Car parks at visitor destinations, including beaches, will remain closed for the time being.

  • This story is part of the Journal's new publication, the Vale Journal, which covers Shaftesbury, Gillingham, and the wider Blackmore Vale. Got a story for us? Email or find us on The Vale Journal Facebook.