Town is a car park cash cow - claim

PUBLISHED: 13:00 08 December 2011

Charges in car parks across Weston could be increased

Charges in car parks across Weston could be increased

Copyright Archant Ltd

CAR parking charges across Weston could be raised as part of a fundraising drive by the council.

The increase in charges, due to be discussed and possibly passed by North Somerset Council’s executive on Tuesday, would see some charges rise by as much as 25 per cent.

The proposals have led to complaints that the town is being used as a ‘cash cow’, with increased prices only affecting the 10 off-street car parks which currently have charges – eight of which are in Weston.

Liberal Democrat councillor Mike Bell said: “It is simply unfair that Weston is being treated as a cash cow in this way.

“We all understand that money is tight and that we have to pay for parking off-street. What many will not understand is why Weston is hit year after year with inflation-busting increases while other towns get off scot-free.

“The Conservative administration in charge at the town hall is famously anti-Weston and we can see further evidence of it in their parking charges policy.”

The proposed changes come in the light of unprecedented levels of savings which the authority is being forced to make.

They are designed to encourage use of long stay car parks, as there would also be a reduction in short stay spaces at the car park in Carlton Street.

The other two car parks affected by the proposals are in Clevedon.

Among the proposals, motorists staying for five hours in the Grove Park, Knightstone Causeway or Melrose car parks would see charges increase from £7 to £7.50, with price increases varying between 3.1 and nine per cent.

An overnight stay in Hampton car park will rise from £2 to £2.50, an increase of 25 per cent, while long stay season tickets at Locking Road car park would rise between 2.6 and 4.7 per cent.

But the peak charging period along Weston’s seafront will be reduced, with peak charges only lasting until October 31, not November 30.

A total of 22 short stay parking spaces will be created in the Locking Road car park to compensate for the closure of the Carlton Street car park as part of the Dolphin Square redevelopment works.

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