Shropshire Star

Town council leader says Shrewsbury parking charge hikes are ‘long-term disaster’ for town

The leader of Shrewsbury Town Council says recent parking charge hikes by the county council would prove a “long term disaster” for the town.

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The leader of Shrewsbury Town Council says recent parking charge hikes by the county council would prove a “long term disaster” for the town

Leader Alan Mosley criticised a revised programme of parking charge increases approved by Shropshire Council earlier this month, during his address to the council’s annual town meeting on Tuesday.

The charges, proposed in January but revised last month following an outcry from local businesses, were voted through by Shropshire Council’s cabinet earlier this month.

The proposals will see increases to all major car parks across Shrewsbury town centre, with smaller rises also set to kick in at other locations across the county.

Now, Shrewsbury Town Council which, alongside the town’s business community, has found itself pitted against the unitary authority in the debate on parking charges, called instead for more joined-up thinking.

“Our motto is ‘Putting Shrewsbury First’ and the town council prides itself on being the voice of Shrewsbury and supporting local communities and local initiatives,” said Councillor Mosley.

“The town council does recognise the parlous state of Shropshire Council’s finances, but to increase parking charges in the town with some sites potentially seeing a 60% increase in charges would prove a long term disaster for the town centre, local residents and for those who work in the town, and visitors and tourists.

“Our members are clear… that impressing on Shropshire Council the need for a better strategy for parking and one that compliments the movement strategy whereby alternative means of transport infrastructure are put in place.”

The revised scheme approved this month saw a reduction in rates at Abbey Foregate and a flat fee introduced between 6pm and 8pm on some town car parks as part of measures to address criticism of the proposals, which were called in by Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors on Shropshire Council.

Shropshire Council says the plan will raise money for car park maintenance and help reduce traffic in Shrewsbury town centre.

“In Shrewsbury the primary objective is to encourage motorists to park outside the river loop – or use other forms of transport – reducing the number of vehicles entering the town centre, helping to increase the number of spaces available for those who need them, and minimising emissions,” said Dan Morris, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for parking.

“In addition, our 83 car parks have not kept pace with maintenance requirements such as surfacing, lining, signing, drainage, boundaries, green assets and cleaning. The structure of our parking service and our parking strategy also need to be reviewed.”