Short stay parking set to remain for shoppers

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Short stay parking will remain in the district if councillors agree to outcry from retailers over the change intended to raise almost £100,000 a year.

Warwick District Council’s executive previously agreed to remove short-stay parking options in its long-stay sites to help raise revenue.

After outcry from businesses owners claiming shoppers would be driven out of town centres by the minimum two hour charge, the plan is expected to be scrapped.

It was estimated that removing short-stay would raise £25,161 in Warwick, £27,390 in Leamington and £29,327 in Kenilworth in just one year.

Cllr David Shilton, portfolio holder responsible for car parks, said: “We considered the feedback and a 30 minute option is recommended to stay in our long-stay sites.

“This is still out for consultation and we still need to encourage people to stay for longer in long-stay car parks as we have to raise a lot of revenue for essential repairs.”

But a rise in parking fees is likely to remain in place amid changes as members seek to raise funds for major work at sites including Warwick’s Linen Street multi-storey.

Cllr Mandy Littlejohn from Warwick said while they do not expect a rise in all-day fees to hit town trade, they are delighted to hear 30-minute slots will stay for shoppers.

Richard Hales, chair of Kenilworth Chamber of Trade said they were “delighted the council has listened to members’ concerns” .

Under proposals still to be agreed, an all-day parking tickets will rise by between 50p and £1 in Leamington and Warwick, with prices to remain cheaper in Leamington’s Old Town and Kenilworth.

Abbey Fields will stay free for the first two hours and changes will not affect any on-street parking.

The increase is expected to raise almost £86,000 per year when passed by the executive.

A council statement read: “Parking charges and tariff bands will be confirmed in January. The recommendation will be for an increase in charges from 1st April.”