A decision on plans to extend parking charges until midnight to encourage residents to use buses instead of cars will be made today.

Cabinet members at Southampton City Council will also discuss plans to hike parking charges for the first time in 10 years.

If approved, the new tariffs will be in place between 8am and 8pm for on-street parking and 8am and midnight for off-street meaning it will no longer be cheaper to park between 6pm and 8pm.

The council says bringing in parking charges until midnight will encourage more residents to travel by bus which in turn would help the council reach its net zero target, bridge its financial gap and boost the uptake of concessionary bus passes, which is below average in the city.

Speaking at a council meeting on Thursday (October 12), Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Cllr Eamonn Keogh, said: “We want to introduce a single parking charge period for 8am to 8pm for city centre on street parking and 8am to 12pm for city centre off street parking.

“We want to be actively encouraging residents to travel using public transport. We want people to consider not just the best way of travelling for them, but also what is the best way for the city as well, in relation to our net zero target.”

He added: “This plan will also help the council balance the books and bring in revenue.”

Last year the council brought back evening parking charges to help the turnover of car parking spaces.

Scrutinising the council's proposal, Thornhill Labour councillor Andy Frampton said: "Many people have cited a poor bus service as a reason for still using their cars. We only have one commercial bus company that is driven by profits."

In response, Cllr Keogh said: “We are working very closely with a bus operator to expand routes and provide the city with the best possible service.

“I'm confident we have got an operator that wants to expand the network – it is in their commercial interest to do so.”

If approved, the changes will come into force next month.