FEARS have been raised that parking could become “a nightmare” for residents living near Wrexham town centre if charges are increased.
In October Wrexham Council approved an increase in parking costs effective from February 3 and the move includes the removal of the ‘free from midday’ scheme.
Free parking at the People’s Market and Crescent Road car parks – currently available from noon – will move to the later time of 3pm.
Other car parks involved in the changes include those at the library, Market Street, St George’s Crescent, St Giles and Waterworld, with some seeing a 100 per cent rise.
Smithfield councillor Keith Gregory said he believes the proposed changes will lead to visitors to the town centre parking in residential areas on his ward, particularly on Smithfield Road, Caia Road and Benjamin Road.
Traders and shoppers in Wrexham have previously warned that the council’s decision could be ‘the death’ of the town’s markets.
Responding to a consultation document which has been circulated, Cllr Gregory said: “Crescent Road and the People’s Market is changing from free after midday to free after 3pm.
“One you start changing it again you’ll have people parking in the Smithfield area instead.
“We’ve already had problems because of Vinci putting the prices up at Eagles Meadow.
“The more you put the prices up, the more cars we end up with in the town centre wards.”
He also attacked the impact the increase would have on people still choosing to park in town centre car parks.
“It seems they’re attacking the working people of Wrexham,” he said.
A Wrexham Council spokesman said: “Revisions to parking charges and tariff structures were approved by members of the executive board back in October last year in response to changes in parking demands in the town centre.
“Whilst there are some changes proposed to parking charges and tariff structures, an element of the free parking in the afternoon is being retained and a new initiative introduced which will allow the transfer of pay and display tickets across a number of the council’s operated car parks.
“Subject to satisfactory completion of all necessary statutory procedures, the proposed revisions will become operational from the February 3, 2014.”