Royston car park prices set to rocket next year

PUBLISHED: 11:54 01 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:12 11 May 2010

Cllr Peter Burt: 30 pence

Cllr Peter Burt: 30 pence ""not a massive increase

FREE parking in Royston after 4pm has been suggested to mitigate the effects of a parking charge hike set to come into force next year. North Herts district council has come up with three options for parking price increases, as they look to plug a £1.3mil

FREE parking in Royston after 4pm has been suggested to mitigate the effects of a parking charge hike set to come into force next year.

North Herts district council has come up with three options for parking price increases, as they look to plug a £1.3million gap in their finances by upping tariffs across the district.

In Royston, proposals include a scheme increasing prices by 10 pence per hour in all car parks, and a more radical plan suggesting prices for up to three hours parking are hiked up from £6 to £8.

A third option would see prices for one hours parking remain unchanged at 50 pence, while the cost of two hours parking would go up 30 pence across the board, from 70 pence to £1. Staying for up to three hours in the car parks at the Civic Centre and The Warren would also cost drivers 30 pence more, with charges increasing from £1.20 to £1.50.

Councillors from the district council's Royston area committee held a lengthy discussion about the effects of the increase at their meeting last week, with many giving their backing to the third option.

Cllr F John Smith said he believed the scheme "was right for Royston." He said: "Royston is so cheap compared to nearly every other town in England for car parking and I cannot believe this is going to be a big downer to trade.

"Charges in Royston will remain slightly lower and rightly so."

However, Cllr Liz Beardwell said: "A 10 pence hike is acceptable but I think 30 pence would be seen as exorbitant."

A fourth option, proposed by Cllr Peter Burt, also won widespread support. This would see the current 10 pence charge imposed after 4pm scrapped, while the price for two or three hours parking would increase by 30 pence in all car parks. No stays of over three hours would be permitted in the short stay car parks at Priory Memorial Gardens, John Street. Angel Pavement, and the market square.

Cllr Burt said this would "free up" spaces in the short term car parks currently occupied by people working in the town, who would instead have to park in the long stay car parks at the Warren or the Civic Centre.

"Nobody likes paying more for parking," said Cllr Burt, "but 30 pence is not a massive increase, and more people will be able to use the spaces in the short term car parks which are freed up by the abolition of stays over three hours."

The district council's cabinet will make a final decision on which tariff is enforced when they meet on December 15.

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