Councils including Louth and Horncastle call for return of free car parking

Could free parking be making a return to Louth?
Could free parking be making a return to Louth?

A fresh call has been made to East Lindsey District Council to reinstate its previously free car parks and end its ‘deeply unpopular’ charges.

The authority is coming under increasing pressure to perform a u-turn - this time from six local town and parish councils, including Louth Town Council.

Councillors from Louth, Horncastle, Coningsby, Spilsby, Woodhall Spa and Alford have banded together to form a group to campaign against the changes which were introduced in April and May.

In Louth charges were ramped up across the board, and fees were brought in at free car parks including the Cattle Market.

Louth Town Council confirmed the group has written to ELDC, calling for all free car parks prior to the changes earlier this year to be reinstated.

A source close to the new organisation said: “The changes are deeply unpopular. Yes, a review has been promised but action is needed now.”

The development comes after ELDC was forced to defend claims by the RAC that it generated £1.5m profit from car parking in 2011-12 - and flouted government policy in the process.

Councillor Steve Newton, whose portfolio includes parking, said the RAC’s figures were inaccurate.

ELDC has admitted up until the end of June, income from charges at Louth’s Cattle Market was £603.20 since the changes were introduced on May 1.

The takings at the nearby Linden Walk car park were £738.60 and at Bridge Street were £932.80.

East Lindsey District Council’s spokesman James Gilbert said: “Yes, the district council has received a letter from a number of parish councils in relation to car parking.

“The district council will review the new car parking arrangements later in the year and this letter will be considered as part of that review process.”

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