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Frequently asked questions about parking

Find out answers to the most common questions we get asked about parking.

Parking tickets

 2022/232021/22*2020/21*2019/20*2018/19
Number of parking tickets issued57,12449,49725,90855,36057,286
Number of parking tickets appealed12,12911,2917,34917,42515,497
Number of appeals accepted4,9743,7172,6813,8886,706

* Additional note re 2019/20, 20/21 and 21/22: figures may have been affected as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns (first official lockdown 23 March 2020).

Further information, including details on car parks income and expenditure, can be found in the parking services annual reports.

What happens to any income raised through enforcement?

Any money raised through enforcement can only be used for the purposes of highway and road improvement, environmental improvement or for the improvement of public passenger transport services.

Residents parking permits

What authority does the council have to make changes to the residents parking scheme?

Under the Traffic Management Act 2004 the council has a statutory duty to manage the highways network in a way to minimise congestion and reduce air pollution. This translates to a policy supporting economic viability regarding turnover and availability of parking spaces, safety in discouraging stopping / parking at locations that cause risk to other road users, and congestion by reducing impediments to traffic flow and movement. 

Cabinet - Thursday 18 July 2019

Where does the resident parking scheme apply?

There are 428 resident only parking locations across Swansea, predominantly in response to requests from residents.

How many permits are currently in issue?

Approximately 11,816 (May 2023).

How is the scheme enforced?

Civil enforcement officers have real time access to the permit database, allowing them to check if any vehicle has valid permission for the location in which it's parked. Enforcement would follow civil enforcement procedures in the same way as any other parking contraventions.

Parking charges

Why has the council increased car parking charges?

Parking was free across Swansea during lockdown to support essential workers. In the last 12 months alone (2022/23), we have spent £2.1m subsidising the service to keep the cost of parking down to support city centre workers, shoppers and businesses. Prior to that charges had been frozen since 2014. This meant charges were 22% lower than they otherwise would have been. Following the end of the pandemic and special covid funding at return 2019 fees (adjusted for some but not full inflation) was regrettably necessary to fund operation, maintenance and enhancement of car park facilities.

How much money has the council spent keeping car parking costs low?

In the last 12 months (2022/23) we spent £2.1m keeping charges to £2 all day in our car parks. Future promotions and offers are expected to require a significant subsidy.

What were the car parking costs prior to the pandemic?

An example of the changes, in this case for the High Street MSCP, including pre-pandemic costs is below. The table shows that from 2014 until the pandemic the standard 12-hour parking fee for the High Street was £6, £2 less than today's resident fee.

High Street parking fees
TimePre-pandemicSpecial Covid rateCurrent residentCurrent non-resident
1 hour50p£2 all day£1£1.50
2 hours£1 £2£2.50
3 hours£3.50 £3£3.50
4 hours£4.50 £5£5.50
12 hours£6 £8£8.50
9.00pm - 8.00am£3 £3.50£3.50
SundaysFreeFree£2£2

More details about charges prior to the pandemic can be found here: https://democracy.swansea.gov.uk/ieIssueDetails.aspx?IId=41695&PlanId=0&Opt=3&LLL=0#AI43756

When was the last time the council put up car parking charges?

Eight years ago, in 2014. We have always recognised the importance of competitively-priced car parking charges to shoppers, businesses and city centre workers. With reluctance, we have had to put up charges now to cover its car parking overheads, including rising energy costs that everyone is having to deal with.

What is the cheapest way to park in a council-operated car park?

Park and Ride is the cheapest at just £1 a day, Monday to Saturday: Park and ride

If I can't use Park and Ride, what are my options?

Parking promotions for shoppers are due to be introduced shortly - from as little as £1 per hour. A report on this went to Cabinet on 18 May. Reduced cost permits for city workers are available from as little as £1.37 per day.

Parking at St David's, High Street MSCP or a pay and display car park is cheaper than Quadrant car park. Longer stays of up to 12 hours are less expensive if you park somewhere other than at Quadrant and Copr Bay South.

What is the cheapest available season ticket in the city centre?

If the company you work for is a member of BID, your company can apply for a season ticket on your behalf at an average price of £1.37 a day. You need to speak to your employer to get this deal.

If my company is not part of BID, can I still apply for a season ticket pass for the city centre?

Yes. Prices start from as little as £2.27 per day. You can do that here: Car park season ticket

You can pay for the season ticket monthly.

Why is it more expensive to park in the arena car park (Copr Bay South)?

Copr Bay South car park is a premium car park with direct access to Swansea Arena. It is a city centre car park and pricing for the first 3 hours is comparable with the Quadrant. For stays longer than 3 hours the price increases to a comparable level of those in key popular destinations in other city centres.

I use MiPermit. How can I make sure I get the resident discount?

You will need to register with MiPermit to apply for a resident saver permit. We are currently looking to streamline registration via the app to make accessing the discount easier.

To register for your digital resident saver permit, you will need to supply your postcode and house number to then be able to select your property from the search field to continue registration.

The registration process will ask for your details to set up your account, and a PIN will be sent to you by email / SMS text message in order that you can login to your newly created account. If you experience difficulties with registering, please contact MiPermit on 0345 520 7007.

Renew or apply for your resident saver permit: Resident saver permit

When logged in to the MiPermit portal, select 'Digital permits' from the menu, and select the 'Renew / apply for permits'. You can then select the type of permit you require. All fields will be pre-populated with your details. Upload one of the required document proofs and press 'Finish'.

Can I use MiPermit to extend my stay at car parks, including The Strand?

Yes. One of the benefits of MiPermit is that if you know you're going to take more time than you first thought, you can go back on the app and pay for a longer stay. You don't have to go back to the car and buy a new ticket.

How much does it cost to park in the city centre on Sundays? Does it apply to all car parks, including the arena car park?

The charge is £2 all day in the city centre. The arena car park (Copr Bay South) charges on Sunday are the same as they are Monday to Saturday.

How much does it cost to park in car parks outside the city centre?

You can find all of our car parks and charges here: Car parks

Don't forget the MiPermit app can also help.

What are the arrangements for disabled parking in the city centre?

There are lots of disabled spaces in the city centre: Disabled parking information

Blue Badge holders pay reduced rates in many council car parks. The new charges are in the table below. 

Blue Badge holders - new charges
 Pre-covidCurrent charge
Up to 2 hours70p£1.50
2-4 hours£1.20£3
4-6 hours£2.40£4

Will the car park charges in foreshore and beach car parks go down in the winter season?

Reduced winter charges apply between 1 November and 28/29 February in the following car parks:

I've heard there's going to be a residents' app that will include parking offers. How can I find out more?

The app will offer the discounts currently available to residents. Residents will scan the app QR code to obtain the discount resident rate rather than select it on the machine.

Why can't you stop building pedestrian and cycle routes and spend the money cutting the cost of parking?

New pedestrian and cycling routes in Swansea are paid for by Welsh Government grants. Councils have to bid for active travel funding and, if successful, they receive money that can only be spent on new cycling and pedestrian routes. The money cannot be diverted to other council projects such as filling potholes or cutting the cost of parking.

Are the new car parking charges in Swansea comparable to other city centres like Cardiff, Newport and Bristol?

The new car parking charges in Swansea are very competitive compared to similar cities like Cardiff and Newport. When the changes were first proposed, we compared our proposed charges with those offered by Cardiff, Newport and other councils. You can find examples here:

Swansea

  • High Street MSCP: 1 hour - £1.50 (£1 discount); 2 hours - £2.50 (£2 discount); up to 4 hours - £5.50 (£5 discount); up to 12 hours - £8.50 (£8 discount)
  • Paxton Street: 1 hour - £2 (£1.50 discount); 2 hours - £3.50 (£3 discount); up to 4 hours - £5.50 (£5 discount); up to 12 hours £9 (£8 discount)

Cardiff

  • Castle Mews car park: 1 hour - £2.60; 2 hours - £3.60; 3 hours - £4.60; 4 hours - £5.60; 5 hours - £6.60; evenings (6.00pm to 8.00pm) - £2.60
  • North Road car park: up to 4 hours - £5.10; full day (until midnight of that day) - £8.80

Newport

  • Park Square: up to 3 hours - £2.60; up to 5 hours - £4.70; over 5 hours and up to 24 hours - £6.20
  • Friars Walk: 1-2 hours - £1.50; 2-3 hours - £2.40; 3-4 hours - £3.60; 4-6 hours - £6; 6-10 hours - £8; 10-24 hours - £15

Reading

  • Broad Street Mall car park: 1 hour - £1.60; 2 hours - £4.10; 3 hours - £6.10; 4 hours - £8.10; 5 hours - £10.10; 6 hours - £12.20; 24 hours - £14.20
  • Queens Road car park: 1 hour - £2.30; 2 hours - £4.40; 3 hours - £6.70; 4 hours - £8.90; 5 hours - £10.60; 6 hours - £12.70; 6-24 hours - £16.70