Review of controversial car parking charges in Lincolnshire market towns
Article Written By: East Lindsey Target
Controversial car parking charges introduced in Lincolnshire towns including Spilsby, Louth and Skegness are to be reviewed.
East Lindsey District Council made changes to parking, including charging at 13 car parks which were once free, from May 1, 2013.
These car parks are now only free for the first hour and in Louth, for example, it costs up to £3 for four hours's parking.
The council is now reviewing its policy after making a £1.7 million profit from parking last year.
Councillor Craig Leyland, leader of the council, told the BBC that the original decision over parking was right given the authority's financial position at the time.
But he added that free parking could be re-introduced in some car parks.
He said: "One thing we are really keen to do is to ensure we can give businesses every opportunity to thrive in the current climate.
"Our charges are very reasonable in comparison to other districts - we just want to make sure the balance is right."
A Freedom of Information Act request showed that most car parks in East Lindsey which used to be free made less than £1,000 in the first two months since charges were introduced.
Figures showed that Louth Cattle Market car park generated £603.20 up to June 30, 2013, an average of £9.89 per day, using the change date of May 1.
The Linden Walk car park made more money than the cattle market, making £738.60 and Bridge Street made £932.80.
The largest incomes ELDC received from the former free car parks were in Woodhall Spa and Coningsby.
Silver Street car park in Coningsby made £2,335.95 up until June 30 and the Broadway car park in Woodhall Spa made £1,002.20, while the small Royal Square car park in the village made £1,053.
Businesses and the local community have welcomed news of the parking review.
One Louth trader told the BBC:"Some local businesses have really suffered."
A resident said: "It's not very cheap." And a holidaymaker added: "We are from Lancashire where the majority of the car parks are free."
The council's portfolio holder for operational services, Councillor Sandra Harrison, said: "The council's executive board has instigated a scrutiny review to look at four key aspect of the car parking arrangements in East Lindsey.
"The review, which will begin shortly, will consider the options in relation to previously free car park sites; Sunday charging; time limited (short stay) parking in town centre locations and a managed approach to community use of car parks for events/activities.
"The review will consider the options surrounding these aspect of the car parking in the context of further budget pressures for the council.
"It is important to remember that car parking income remains a significant proportion of the council's budget to run services to the community and that car parking charges in East Lindsey remains some of the lowest in Lincolnshire.
"Once the review has concluded, its recommendations will be used to inform a report to the executive."
Published: Friday 24th July 2015
By submitting your comment you are confirming that your post meets the site terms & conditions. Posts which do not meet the terms & conditions may be subject to moderation or removal.
Your comments may take a few moments to appear in the main comment box above.