Car park price increases planned for Shropshire Council car parks

Hourly fees in a council's car parks are set to rise under plans to be agreed by cabinet members next week.

Frankwell Car Park in Shrewsbury
Frankwell Car Park in Shrewsbury

The charges for Shropshire Council car parks across the county will be up by between 10 and 20p per hour, and the authority says the increase is required because of rising costs.

It says that with no increases in charges since their last change – between November 2018 and February 2019 – it is currently subsidising maintenance of car parks out of other budgets.

A report to be considered by the the council's cabinet also says the increased charges will only cover some of the loss to parking revenue during the pandemic.

Under the plans parking in Shrewsbury's Frankwell Car Park would go up from 70p an hour to 80p, while on-street parking in the town would go up from £2.40 an hour to £2.80.

The cost of Ludlow's Castle Street Car Park would be up from £1 to £1.20, while the Smithfield Car Park would be up from 30p to 40p – the same at Bridgnorth's Severn Street Car Park.

There are seven bands of car parks and on-street parking areas managed by Shropshire Council, with bands one to six currently being chargeable, and band seven being free.

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways, said the price rises were needed to ensure the council could continue to afford the maintenance of its car parks.

He said: "An increase in the rate of inflation and the cost of managing and maintaining our car parks and on-street parking areas means that we are proposing small increases to some of our parking charges.

“This will be the first increase in parking charges since the existing fees were introduced more than three years ago.

“The majority of increases are small – only 10p an hour for most car parks – with a rise of just 20p per hour in a small number of others.

“However, even with these changes many car parks will continue to be free, and many will cost just 40p an hour. And even with a small increase our prices will continue to compare favourably with many other parts of the country.

“It’s also worth highlighting that the 15 minutes’ pop and shop period will continue to apply.”

The report to be considered explains that Covid had a significant impact on the budget, stating: "During the Covid pandemic car parking receipts reduced significantly. The proposed parking charges will only put the authority back within the range of original budget expectation."

The report also outlines concerns that the current fees mean the service is "no longer affordable" for the council.

It states: "There have been no parking price increases since the approval of the new parking strategy in 2018. However, inflation has increased significantly in this period and the council is still receiving the same level of receipts with operational costs increasing.

"The council have resisted price increases for many years but the subsidising of rising costs is no longer affordable and service provision is already being impacted with urgent need of upgrade of systems to ensure enforcement continues to protect the interests of the residents and businesses that the parking restrictions seek to support."

By law, any surplus money Shropshire Council receives from car parking over and above the cost of providing and administering it must be used for the benefit of road users.

A spokesman for the council said: "Any surplus generated from these proposals would be put towards improvements to car parks and any further surplus money would be used to fund public transport services, road improvements projects and environmental improvement."

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News