WEST Berkshire Council says it won’t be reducing car parking charges in Newbury, despite widespread concerns that rising costs are driving people away from the town.
The cost of a one-hour stay in the council-owned car parks has increased by 50 per cent in the past two years – from £1 an hour in 2015 to £1.50 an hour in 2017.
Sunday parking charges, previously a flat rate of £1 per day, were also scrapped last year and replaced with the higher weekday tariff.
The knock-on affect has seen tariff increases at other car parks in the town, including Parkway.
Self-employed therapist Tania Fisher said it was costing her £12 a day to park in the shopping centre.
She said: “Parkway prices have always been quite high, but they have put them up even more.”
Mrs Fisher, who has a room at Neal’s Yard Remedies, said: “Customers come in constantly complaining about it.
“It puts people under extra stress because they are always worrying about parking going up to the next level.
“I don’t think it’s encouraging people to come and shop in the town.”
The problem is being further exacerbated by a shortage of spaces in the town.
The council has admitted that there will be a shortfall of parking spaces in Newbury by 2026 unless drastic action is taken.
Mrs Fisher said that the lack of available cheaper spaces was already manifest.
“I know the council say there are cheaper places to park,” she said. “I try to park in cheaper spaces, but there are limited spaces unless you can get in before half eight.
For more on this story see the Newbury Weekly News.