Shrewsbury parking charge rises slammed as 'excessive'
Proposed changes to parking fees in Shrewsbury have been condemned as “excessive” and “counter-productive”.
Shrewsbury Town Council has been highly critical of Shropshire Council’s proposals to change parking charges in the town, and has written to the authority demanding a rethink.
The plans have been criticised on a number of fronts, with councillors concerned they will lead to people opting to shop in other towns, while also forcing people to park away from car parks, blocking residential areas.
But Shropshire Council has defended the proposals and said they would make parking charges “simpler, clearer and more consistent”.
Councillor Alan Mosley, leader of the town council, said: “It is alarming that Shropshire Council should seek to impose these inflation-busting rises on residents, commuters and visitors to the county town.
“With the current economic climate, I fear that there could be a steep decline in visitor numbers and therefore the vitality and vibrancy of Shrewsbury both during the day and for the night-time economy.
"Many people will choose to go elsewhere and it makes out-of-town work and shopping much more attractive.
“It seems that the leaders of Shropshire Council see Shrewsbury as a convenient ‘cash cow’ and this is obviously to our detriment.”
In their letter councillors say “pay on exit” machines should be introduced to stop shoppers “clock-watching” and that increases to charges for day workers will be 40 per cent and 48 per cent for Frankwell and Abbey Foregate respectively.
Councillors have also suggested a re-think on proposals to charge between 9am and 8pm, instead suggesting a 60p flat rate after 6pm, as adopted in Telford.
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We’re proposing a number of changes to our parking strategy, including what and how we charge.
"We think these proposals which will make parking arrangements – both in car parks on on-street – simpler, clearer and more consistent, but these are proposals at this stage and we want to know what people think. We welcome the response from Shrewsbury Town Council.
“These proposals are out to consultation until October 17.”