Plans to increase car parking charges and scrap free parking in Louth have been slammed as ‘ill thought out’ by Louth Town Partnership.
East Lindsey District Council are exploring ways to ‘balance’ charges across the district from April, and were discussing the latest plans on Tuesday.
Recommendations include charging for the now free Cattle Market car park, charging for Sunday parking and increasing short and long stay charges.
Louth Town partnership have written to ELDC stating their ‘grave concern’, and accusing the authority of ‘adding to its own coffers’.
ELDC say they need to make car parking fairer. Sunday parking is free in Louth, but is not in Mablethorpe and Skegness.
LTP say comparing market towns and resorts is like ‘comparing apples with pears’.
“The seasonal seaside economy, attracting visitors from the Midlands, is very different from our service towns which are here for the local population all year round,” said the Louth Town Partnership’s letter.
“Businesses are bumping along the bottom trying to get through the recession and deserve the support of their local council. Instead, the proposed changes will drive shoppers away from Louth and into the free parking lots of the big supermarkets elsewhere.”
The cattle market, popular with parents on the school run and town centre workers, would be £3 for a day’s parking.
ELDC’s environmental portfolio holder, Coun Tony Bridges, explained: “Car parking in East Lindsey is a mismatch at the moment with some real inconsistencies and that isn’t acceptable.”
ELDC have not increased parking prices since 2008, and say their £200 annual permits, covering car parks across the district, are good value. They confirmed they have no plans to improve the Cattle Market car park if charges are introduced.
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