A NEW system of car parking charges looks set to be introduced into Whitchurch, Wem and Ellesmere following a review of the controversial current arrangement.
It could mean that car parking charges on a Sunday are waived on some of Whitchurch’s car parks - but not all - and a new banding system is introduced on weekdays.
Shropshire Council is considering several proposed changes to car park charges following a county-wide review.
Car parks in Whitchurch’s Newtown, St John’s Street, and Brownlow Street, and all car parks in Ellesmere and Wem will get free parking on Sundays under the plans.
But a £2.50 Sunday charge would apply at Castle Hill and Pepper Street in Whitchurch.
Whitchurch Chamber of Trade has been pushing for changes to parking fees and its chair Therese Hickland said: “We would hope to see all car parks free in Whitchurch on a Sunday to encourage the pub and restaurant trade. However, we are pleased with all the other proposals on banding systems.”
Shropshire Council has seen a big fall in car park revenue - car parking profit fell by £470,000 in the 2011/12 financial year.
The council’s enterprise and growth scrutiny committee will discuss the review at its meeting on Friday, May 25, and proposals will go forward for consultation with parish and town councils over the summer.
The latest car parking strategy was introduced in April 2011, and the review was set up to consider comments received by Shropshire Council over the past year.
Proposed changes include car parks with charging bands of 10p or free for 0-2 hours and £1.80 for 2-10 hours changing to 10p for 0-2 hours, 50p for 2-4 hours, £1.00 for 4-6 hours and £1.80 for 6-10 hours.
Ticket machines could also be altered to accept new 5p and 10p coins.
Cabinet member responsible for transport, Councillor Simon Jones said: “The proposed new charging bands for many market town car parks mean that people will be able to park for up to four hours for just 50p, which seems pretty reasonable to me. I hope businesses and residents will appreciate that we are doing all we can to ensure shoppers are still able to visit their town centres without being put off by parking charges.”