Car park charges bring in extra £400,000 for East Lindsey District Council

Are ELDC's parking charges bleeding motorists dry?
Are ELDC's parking charges bleeding motorists dry?

East Lindsey District Council has banked an additional £400,000 from controversial changes to its car parks in the last financial year.

The council expects to generate £3m from car park operations, compared to a figure of £2.6m in the previous two years.

The figures have led to claims by some residents that ELDC is “bleeding motorists dry” and the rise is a “scandal.”

However, the council has hit back and stressed East Lindsey offers excellent value for money and some of the lowest car parking charges in the county.

The council also warns that without income from car park charges, is would have to consider “radical reductions” of other services.

News of the additional revenue comes after ELDC increased prices at some car parks last May - and introduced them for the first time at others.

That led to widespread protests with residents and businesses claiming charges were forcing visitors away from the region and turning town centres into ghost towns.

The council has since performed something of a U-turn and yesterday (Tuesday) a system allowing two hours’ free parking at some locations was introduced.

However, some residents claim the charges are still too high and are calling for free parking to be restored to some car parks.

Ian Lakin, of Horncastle, said: “I’d like to know how the council can justify a £400,000 increase. It’s scandalous.

“Times are hard for everyone and all they are doing is hitting ordinary people in the pocket. They are bleeding motorists dry.”

Laurie Mason, of Louth, said: “I come into Horncastle two or three times a week for business and the charges do seem high. It doesn’t seem right that you seem to pay more to park in market towns than you do in Lincoln or Grimsby. That can’t be right.”

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaiser has previously said that for many local authorities, parking charges were a ‘nice little earner.’