Spalding town centre trade could be hit by "hell of a jump" in car parking charges
A leading trader fears Spalding town centre shops could be hit by a proposed massive hike in car parking charges.
The daily parking rate in some South Holland District Council (SHDC) car parks is set to more than triple from £1.30 to £5 a day.
Darren Sutton, who chairs Spalding Town Retailers Association, said: “I appreciate the council obviously needs to have an income for the upkeep of car parks, but I think it would have been better if they had done this over the last several years - gradually - instead of one big hit.
“It’s a hell of a jump.”
Mr Sutton, who manages Bookmark and Charmed Interiors, says the High Street is not having the best time.
He asked: “Why would you park for £5 all day in Spalding when you can go to Springfields for £2 all day?”
Association members are being asked for their views before Mr Sutton makes representations to the council.
A reader has also labelled the proposed price rise in season ticket prices as excessive, and says the new charges will see people shopping elsewhere.
In October SHDC’s cabinet approved plans to increase parking season ticket prices in the town from £260 to £460 - a hike of almost 77per cent - and more than triple the current daily charge in its long stay car parks.
All day parking at The Vista and Spalding Bus Station will go up from £1.30 to £5, an increase of 285 per cent - while Victoria Street’s daily rate goes up from £1.50 to £5, a rise of 233 per cent.
The new charges were recommended as figures revealed parking services raised £42,000 profit in 2018-19, a dip of £16,000 on the previous year.
Thedistrict council is sticking to a previous statement, which says: “While it wasn’t an easy decision to make for the council to increase parking charges, it was necessary in terms of funding future investment in our car parking provision. We’ve haven’t increased our car parking charges for the last 10 years which were among the lowest in the county.
“The council will shortly be announcing its enforcement timeline for the town as well as our plans for extended provision and electric vehicle charging points.”
The council said income from raised will be reinvested into it operating costs and that it has recently spent £40,000 on new machines.
Charging periods for Spalding’s council-owned car parks are set to be standardised to run from 8am-6pm with the exception of Herring Lane, which will be 8am-8pm.
The step was approved by SHDC’s cabinet on Tuesday and will be consulted upon along with other changes.
Most car parks will be free overnight - from 6pm-8am - as well as on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
More by this authorLynne Harrison