Aims of the strategy

The outcome of this project is to deliver greater consistency for our customers, from aligned charging and opening times across the Dorset Council car park estate. The change in charging will bring in additional income to the parking service which will be used in accordance to Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 section 122 which stipulates the statutory purpose of the imposition of traffic regulation orders, including the imposition of charges, is:

“to secure the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of vehicular and other traffic (including pedestrians) and the provision of suitable and adequate parking facilities on and off the highway”. 

Scope of the project 

Scope of the project
Change Rationale
1. To align parking charges in car parks on Sundays, specifically, to introduce charging towns where parking is currently free on Sundays. To bring parity and consistency to Sunday parking across all Dorset Council car parks.
2. To extend evening charges from 6pm-8pm in all car parks. For Purbeck to extend charging from 8am - 8pm (currently charges from 10am). To bring parity and consistency to evening parking across all Dorset Council car parks. 

3. To stop the issue of shoppers permits across Dorset Council.

These permits are only offered in West Dorset and not other former Dorset District Council areas and therefore their proposed withdrawal allows Dorset Council not to differentiate between its former District areas. 
4. To increase the ‘all day’ parking charges in the long stay car parks in Lyme Regis, West Bay and Charmouth from £2 all day to £4 all day. To address inconsistencies in parking charging prices at these locations compared with other areas of the Dorset Council. 

Background to the proposal

Since the formation of Dorset Council, aligning parking charges has been a key priority to bring consistency across the former council areas. This project was put on hold due to COVID-19 parking changes.  

The portfolio holder, Cllr Ray Bryan, has requested this project be reinstated to kick start the harmonisation of charges. Consultation on these proposals will take place during September/October with a decision being made at committee in October or November.  

The future aim for parking charges is to create a two-tiered structure across the Dorset Council parking estate. This project is the first phase of the wider programme of harmonisation. 

This equalities impact assessment will be used for the whole harmonisation programme and updated as harmonisation phases finish, before a new phase commences. The parking service now needs to deliver on most of the original harmonisation plans as a first step to convergence, enabling future transformation.    

Intelligence and communication 

Data, information, evidence and research used and how it has influenced the decision-making process

There is currently no data available for evaluating the impact of increased charges for points 1, 2 and 4. These car parks are open to the general public, all of the impacted car parks have Blue Badge bays.  

  • data of the location of places of worship in relation to car parks has been obtained and analysed.
  • the West Dorset Shoppers Permit database contains personal information on customers, which includes names, addresses, telephone numbers, however detail about customers protected characteristics are not known
  • car park charges have been compared to similar locations across the UK 
  • staff contracts already span the extension to evening and Sundays
  • of the 66 places of worship analysed, the results are as follows: 
    • 3% - high impact - will be charged over £2 for 2 hours  
    • 30% - medium impact - will be charged under £2 for 2 hours 
    • 61% - no impact - has own parking / can park for free
    • 6% - place of worship is closed
    • Although there is some cost impact on visitors to places of worship, this does not prevent them from attending services and activities.  

Engagement or consultation that has taken place as part of this EqIA

Engagement will take place on changes 1, 2 and 4 with the following groups:  

  • Towns and Parish Councils  
  • Local Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)  

This engagement will be undertaken by the Parking Manager and Project Lead during September 2020. 

Public consultation will take place on change 3 in September/October 2020, it will be undertaken by the Consultation Lead with support from the Project Lead.  


Comments and any objections from the engagement for change 1, 2 and 4 will be collated into a report and will go to committee for final sign-off in October/November 2020.   

The outcome of the public consultation on change 3 will be collated into a report and will go to committee for final sign-off in November/December 2020.  


Impacts of the strategy 

impacts table
Impacts on who or what? Effect Details

Age / Gender Reassignment & Gender Identity / Pregnancy and maternity / Race and Ethnicity / Sexual orientation / Sex (consider both men and women) / Marriage or civil partnership / Single parent families / Armed Forces communities


There is no data held on the number of car park users who fall into each protected category, so we cannot establish the scale of this impact for different groups. The changes will affect all residents, visitors and businesses in the affected car parks.

Disability (including physical, mental, sensory and progressive conditions) 

Unclear and neutral impact 

Disability exemption permits/ blue badge permits are not being changed therefore there is no impact to this group. Disabled bays are available in all car parks and the issuing of relevant permits for those with disabilities will not change at the present time.  

Religion or belief

Possible negative impact 

Car parks near places of worship that currently do not charge on a Sunday will be impacted. This may therefore impact any visitors to those car parks who are attending a place of worship who used to park for free.  Included within this report is a full breakdown of affected places of worship.



Carers who are supporting the disabled will not be affected as they are no changes to the blue badge permits or Carers permits. 

Rural isolation

Possible negative impact 

The changes could impact those living in rural villages outside of towns as an increase in parking could deter them from visiting.

Social and economic deprivation

Possible negative impact 

The changes could deter those from using car parks due to the increase in costs.

Key to impacts

key table
Positive impact 

the proposal eliminates discrimination, advances equality of opportunity and/or fosters good relations with protected groups.

Negative impact 

protected characteristic group(s) could be disadvantaged or discriminated against

Neutral impact 

no change/ no assessed significant impact of protected characteristic groups


not enough data/evidence has been collected to make an informed decision.

Action plan 

action table
Issue  Action to be taken  Person(s) responsible   Date to be completed by 

Shoppers permits 

To consider an alternative permit that could benefit people living in the Dorset Council area.  

Paul Hutton 

October/ November 2020 

Sunday charging 

Mapping of places of worship and car parks. 

Susan Ward-Rice 

July 2020 

All changes 

Communicate with parish/town councils and BIDs.  

Paul Hutton 

September 2020 

No data on car park users 

Surveys to be completed in car parks. Shoppers permit consultation to include equality and diversity questions. 

Elizabeth Murray 

March 2021 

Who has agreed this EqIA?

sign off table
Role Name Date
Officer completing this EqIA

Elizabeth Murray, Paul Hutton 

09 September 2020 

Equality Lead

Susan Ward-Rice 

05 October 2020 

Equality and Diversity Action Group Chair

Bridget Downton 

06 October 2020 


Diversity and Inclusion Officer - Dorset Council

Name: Susan Ward-Rice
Tel: 01305 224368
Full contact details


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