Commuters still using Wellington car parks to dodge parking charges, says mayor
Commuters are still using Wellington car parks as a way to dodge parking charges, the town's mayor has said.
Councillor Anthony Lowe said parking was still a complex issue in the town, and that it was hurting traders by lowering footfall.
His comments come just months ahead of when Telford & Wrekin Council will take over parking powers from the police.
Wellington's short stay car parks were altered several years ago so that a free parking ticket is needed.
But some motorists are still taking advantage of other car parks – sometimes leaving their vehicle for days.
"Wellington is a go-to station for people from Shrewsbury and Telford," Councillor Lowe said. "They come at 6am or 7am and know they can park for free. They go and get on their trains to go to Birmingham or London, and sometimes they go for several days. They don't pay any money into Wellington.
"They also know if they park at Wellington they will get a seat. If they park at Telford, they might not.
"It uses up our valuable parking stations."
Wellington Town Council has reformed its parking committee and is looking at solutions to the issue.
"We know there's a problem," Councillor Lowe said.
"People don't come into Wellington because they think they may or may not be able to find a space.
"But we want them here. We'd like everybody to know they'll always find a space, but we're a long way off at the minute.
"We need to drive the footfall. That's the issue."
Parking enforcement in Telford will be taken over by the town's borough council from January 31.
Neighbourhood enforcement officers will be hired both to perform parking enforcement and to look at other anti-social issues.
Until then, the powers remain with West Mercia Police.
Last month it was revealed that more than half of all the parking fines handed out by police between 2017 and 2019 were on two roads near Telford Shopping Centre.
Ironmasters Way, home to borough council headquarters Addenbrooke House, a major HMRC office, a Mercure Hotel and other businesses, is just 200 metres away from Telford Central railway station and saw 23 £30 fines issued in 2017-18.
A further 49 tickets were issued that year to cars on Boyd Close, a short lane between Ironmasters Way and Rampart Way, and a further 68 in 2018-19.