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Cut-price car parking on cards as shake-up looms
CUT-PRICE car parking could be on the cards for Ledbury as town councillors call for a major shake-up of the town’s car parks.
Ideas include introducing a nominal charge of 10p for the first 30 minutes at the shortstay St Katherine’s, instead of the present 50p for one hour, and to make fees for the under-used Bridge Street car park “as cheap as possible”
for all-day parking.
St Katherine's could become both short and long stay with a sliding scale of fees – making it more expensive to park there the longer you stay. But the fees for Bridge Street are still to be hammered out. A town council group is looking at parking fees as the shortfall for the town's four car parks this year could be in the region of £20,000.
The council is currrently in early consultation with Herefordshire Council concerning car parking charges for the next financial year but so far the authority has not given figures as to how much revenue it expects Ledbury’s car parks to bring in.
Coun Chris Ridler, chairman of the town’s economic development and planning committee said: “We have now established a hierarchy for what we want our car parks to be and what we want them to do.” Under the proposals the all-day Bye Street car park could be made short-stay, instead of long stay,”with a maximum of two to four hours”, and Lawnside car park would be the town's “multi-purpose car park, for both long and short stay”.
Currently, the fee for the under-used Bridge Street is £1 for up to four hours and £1.50 for over that, but since it was made a paid-for car park last November, it has not been bringing in the expected revenue.
Coun Liz Harvey, a Herefordshire councillor for Ledbury, has told the town’s car parks working party that Bridge Street was expected to bring in £20,000 but will struggle to make £11,000.
Currently, motorists are asked to pay £1 for up to four hours at Bridge Street and £1.50 for over four hours, but since it became a paid-for car park there has been an increase in on-road parking.
One idea is for the council to lease the car parks off Herefordshire Council, which would then allow the town council to set its own fees. Coun Phil Bettington, a former town mayor and a Herefordshire councillor for Ledbury said: “I understand it is something that Bromyard is looking into.” But Ledbury mayor Coun Terry Widdows said he had already looked into this and added: “It's not on the table.”
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