Worcester MP Robin Walker has thrown his support behind Worcester’s independent businesses and high street, backing calls from the leader of the Worcester City Council, Chris Mitchell who has spoken out against the decision to raise car parking charges in Worcester for the first time in over a decade.
Worcester City Council voted this week to up the fees at more than a dozen of its car parks to bring in more money to help balance its budget, however in the midst of a cost of living crisis and coming of the back of last year’s card payment mistakes which meant that thousands of drivers were wrongly charged several times for parking in the city, Robin believes that now is not the time to be negatively impacting people who need to drive into Worcester or risk driving custom away from hard pressed city centre businesses.”
Speaking against the decision to increase the car parking charge, Robin said:
With the tough economic conditions, including the cost of living crisis, I don’t believe now is right time to be putting up car parking charges.
I agree with Councillor Mitchell that now is not the time to be placing this additional burden on the people of Worcester. I am concerned that by raising charges in city centre car parks the council risks losing income by driving people away and deterring customers from coming to our excellent range of independent shops. It would be better to concentrate on working with county to deliver more controlled parking around the city centre so that the council’s car parks are better used and income is generated from increased useage, not a higher tariff.
Conservatives on Worcester city council have always campaigned to keep parking charges down but it is clear that the other parties want to raise them. I fear this will be to the detriment of both residents and businesses but it may fail to raise the income they anticipate, especially when there is still free parking in many places close to the city centre. There has been cross party consensus over a number of years about supporting our high street and investments such as the furlough scheme and the future high streets fund have helped local businesses through some very challenging times but we should be wary of anything that drive custom away.
Councillor Mitchell said:
It simply isn’t the right time to raise parking charges and put even more burden on the people of Worcester.
Someone who previously popped into the High Street to pick something up and paid for 30 mins parking will see an increase of 250 per cent and now be paying £1.50 to park. There is enough burden on residents already.
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