No change if you park your car in the gorge

TRADERS in Cheddar are celebrating after proposed changes to Cliff Street car park charges were scrapped. Sedgemoor District Council's transport officers recommended to remove the two-hour and 4-hour time limit leaving only the one-hour and all day option

TRADERS in Cheddar are celebrating after proposed changes to Cliff Street car park charges were scrapped.Sedgemoor District Council's transport officers recommended to remove the two-hour and 4-hour time limit leaving only the one-hour and all day option for motorists.Bosses at Cheddar Caves and Gorge backed the plans saying the move would encourage tourists to stay longer.But councillors on the council's executive voted unanimously to keep the charges as they were at a meeting on Wednesday.Traders argued that tourists would be put off if they only had the choice of paying 50p for an hour or £4 for all day parking.Sue Moore, chairman of Cheddar Traders Association, said the proposed changes were crazy.She said: "Parking charges are a big deterrent and tourists just drive past and carry on through to Wells where there's free roadside parking."Of course we want tourists to spend money here longer but we can't force them to by restricting the options they can stay in Cheddar."Clearly it was going to put more people off than make them want to stay longer."Bob Smart, marketing manager at Cheddar Caves and Gorge, said the attraction wanted cheaper parking for tourists. He said: "The whole idea of the exercise is to increase the amount of time people spend in Cheddar Gorge."The current charges only encourage people to stay for a short time and spend less money."The council ordered a review of the parking charges and timetabled a review of the car park in six months.Councillor Andrew Gilling said: "Not everybody who parks in the car park uses the caves so we were concerned what changes would do to local traders.


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