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Concern over new parking charges
11:46am Wednesday 20th February 2013 in News
NEW car parking charges in Brentwood town centre have prompted concerns drivers will stay clear.
Brentwood Council has introduced the fees for car parks across the borough, as well as scrapping the residents parking scheme and the introduction of a 40p half hour rate.
However, concerns have been raised over the decision not to have the 30-minute charge at the town’s busiest car park, in William Hunter Way.
Motorists wanting to park at the site must now pay a minimum of £1.30 for two hours, compared to 60p for residents and 80p for non-residents for an hour previously – a 117 per cent rise.
Nigel Clarke, Brentwood First councillor for Brentwood West and owner of the Hair Company, in Crown Street, said the new charges will drive shoppers away.
He added: “Times are hard enough for local businesses without this incredible parking penalty.
“It’s nothing short of a stealth tax by a Conservative-led council that has just failed to balance its budget and is now robbing local shoppers of even more money so as to help swell the council’s coffers.
“I’m afraid this council just will not listen to people and has demonstrated it just does not care.”
Council bosses said they were happy with the new pricing range and believed shoppers were still getting value for money.
A spokesman said: “Brentwood Council is pleased by the success of its new parking charges.
“These include the introduction of a new bargain rate of 40p for half an hour at several car parks, the reduction in the price of parking for two hours as well as for parking at evenings and weekends, and the freeze on other prices.
“We have also introduced a new phone and park system which enables customers to pay by phone, text or app and also extend their parking period in the same way.
“We have had very few negative comments about the new, often reduced tariffs and we have also been pleased to direct customers, who only want a short stay, to park where the 40p rate is available.”