Car parking charges in three Moorlands towns are set to rise.
Shoppers face a hike in car parking charges across three market towns.
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council is increasing fees by up to 50 per cent at sites in Cheadle, Leek and Biddulph. The move come just as retailers are also facing an rise in businesses rates for their premises over the next financial year.
Now some residents fear it will deter visitors from coming to the area.
Glenise Allen, aged 72, from Cheadle, said: “Paying to park has killed the town. The car park used to be packed. Now it is half empty all the time. They should leave it as it is. I think parking should be free in Cheadle.
“The council should do more to bring people in. You can go to out of town retail parks and park for free.”
Julie Holt, from Cheddleton, also fears it will put off shoppers in Leek.
The 64-year-old said: “People have a problem finding somewhere to park and, when you do, you are going to pay more for it. It is hardly a privilege when you have used half a tank of petrol looking for a parking space.”
Forty-three-year-old Sue Hulme, from Leek, added: “I think it will stop people coming into the town.”
The changes, approved by the council’s cabinet, mean:
- In Leek, motorists will face a rise from 60p to 80p for up to one hour. For two hours, it will increase from £1.10 to £1.30 and, for three hours, from £1.50 to £1.70;
- On long stay car parks in Vicarage Road, High Street, Buxton Road, and West Street, Leek, the charge for up to 10 hours will increase from £2 to £2.20;
- In Cheadle, parking at Tape Street and Well Street will go up from 50p to 70p for an hour. For two hours, it will rise from £1 to £1.20 and, for three hours, from £1.40 to £1.60. For a long stay at Well Street, up to 10 hours of parking will go up from £1.80 to £2;
- In Biddulph’s Wharf Street car park, the first two hours will rise from 40p to 60p. Up to three hours will increase from 60p to 80p and, for up to 10 hours, from £1.40 and £1.60.
But some people say the charges will still work out much cheaper than neighbouring areas like Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle.
Anne Mould, aged 59, from Endon, said: “I don’t think it’s excessive. It’s good compared to most places.”
And Robert Handley, who runs Simply Delicious cake stall at Leek Market, added: “I think £2.20 all day is cheap.”
Council leader Sybil Ralphs has defended the parking fee rises. She said: “We are one of the cheapest towns in North Staffordshire. The increases are not substantial.”
News From Stoke Sentinel