NIGHT time parking costs in Brentwood are set to double - in a plan to make day time parking cheaper.
The recently elected council coalition are keen for those who come to the town at night, often to visit places like the Sugar Hut, to contribute more towards the town’s economy.
In turn, the council want the profits from increased charging to drive down prices during the day, making it cheaper for those who work and shop in the town.
Night time parking between 7pm and 9pm currently costs £1. New proposals would see the charge double, but allow car owners to park between 7pm and 6am.
Currently, motorists pay £10.50 to park for the day in the town, this would eventually drop.
Council leader Barry Aspinall hopes the proposals will be in place from October for a six-month trial following consultation.
He said: “We need to look at the day time charge. There are a lot of people that work in Brentwood that have to pay the full charge and we want to look at that and maybe subsidise that for people.
“This is about helping the people that come to Brentwood to work and to shop. This makes it fairer all round. I don’t see why someone coming here to enjoy our night time economy can’t contribute towards that.”
However, Louise Mackinlay, leader of the Conservative opposition group, called the charges a “night time tax” and said all the plans will do is push people to park on quiet, residential streets, most of which are free after 6pm.
She said: “This is a double whammy, first they’re whacking up charges, and then there’s the impact this will have on local residents.”
Ms Mackinlay also said that hopes of eventually cutting charges during the day are “pie in the sky”.
“They have been told time and time again that the numbers don’t stack up.”
Jason Underwood, 25, from Warley, a regular at the Sugar Hut, said: “I often drive and yes this will affect me. But if it makes things cheaper in the day then overall it sounds like a good idea.”