Wrexham parking fee payback idea gets short shrift

Published date: 08 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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HOPES that increased car parking charges may be offset if customers spend enough money in shops have been dashed.

Under the proposed system, motorists would pay for a parking ticket in one of Wrexham’s car parks.

If they then spend over a certain amount in a nominated store, that store would then refund or partly-refund the ticket price.

But Cllr Neil Rogers, leader of Wrexham Council, said spending £13,000 on replacing existing tickets and altering ‘pay and display’ machines to accommodate the proposed scheme was “not viable” due to the “unprecedented” cuts the authority is facing.

Speaking at the Wrexham Town Centre Forum meeting yesterday, Cllr Rogers said the funding was simply not available as councils faced the toughest time of his 34-year career as an elected councillor.

“Last year was the toughest time for local government since I was first elected in 1979,” he said.

“This year is going to be tougher still and the following year will be even harder – so I must say we haven’t got the £13,000 required to implement a scheme like this.

“When we put it to the public to ask for ideas on how we could save money and reduce our deficit, one of the things suggested by many people was an increase in parking charges.”

Council members confirmed at the forum that it would cost £7,000 to alter the ticket machines across the town and a further £6,000 for new parking tickets to be issued per year.

In October, the council’s executive board voted 6-3 in favour of increasing parking charges.

The car parks involved include the library, Market Street, St George’s Crescent, St Giles, Waterworld, People’s Market and Crescent Road.

The changes involve a stay of up to one hour increasing from 60p to £1; a stay between one hour and two hours rising from £1.20 to £1.50; while the evening charge would rise from 50p to £1.

Cllr Hugh Taylor said the council owned town centre car parks were currently operating at 85 per cent capacity, hitting the council’s target.

He added the charges were necessary to ensure “Wrexham remains competitive” and prices in other shopping hubs such as Chester had been considered when implementing the charges.

Phillip Clare, of Tudor House Investment Services, Chester Street, said he had spoken to businesses about the idea for reimbursed parking charges and the response had been “unanimously positive”.

“I went into independent and national retailers and they were very keen on the policy,” he said.

“The machines would need to be altered and the tickets would require a peel off strip for the customer.”

Mr Clare and Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said that, in light of Cllr Rogers’  comments, they would look into the possibility of introducing a scheme for private car parks in the town, which equates to 80 per cent of the town’s available car parking spaces.

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  1. Posted by: kevinweston4 at 20:55 on 08 January 2014 Report

    Fiddling with parking charges whilst Wrexham burns..... Take a trip out of town and checkout the parking prices. Free parking for 1 to 2 hours and see trade increase.

  2. Posted by: Mr.Gobbi at 10:27 on 09 January 2014 Report

    As long as the town centre traders pay their rates it looks as if this council could not give a toss. If the 'perks' to council officers were stopped perhaps the £13,000 would as if by magic appear or as kevinweston4 says shop out of town.

  3. Posted by: keithdw at 18:51 on 07 April 2014 Report

    I would usually park in a council car park to visit the cinema and / or restaurants in Eagles Meadow due to the extortionate prices in the Vinci controlled Eagles Meadow car park. It's now much cheaper, and less frustrating to travel to Cheshire Oaks where parking is free always, and there are many more restaurants / cinema screens to choose from. Bye bye Wrexham!

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