WREXHAM MP Ian Lucas has hit out at the county council over claims it is making a surplus of about half a million pounds a year from car parking.

He is calling on the authority to spend the money on providing a residents’ parking scheme close to the town centre.

Mr Lucas said: “In 2008-9, Wrexham Council brought in over £1.1m from parking charges and fines. The cost was £583,000.

“The council should use the surplus made to fund a residents’ parking scheme in central Wrexham, rather than applying it to its general balances.”

Over the weekend Mr Lucas sent out letters to about 1,000 residents of the Rhosddu area asking for the views on his suggestion and about the parking situation around their homes.

He said: “A residents’ scheme would encourage those who travel to work in central Wrexham to use alternatives to cars – walking, cycling, buses and trains.”

Cllr David Bithell, lead member for environment and transport, said the council did generate income from cark parks but pointed out that this is used to provide other services within the transport and asset management department and is part of its core budget.

He added: “We have reduced car park charges in Wrexham to ensure we were competitive and to support people who work and shop in Wrexham with the lowest car park charge of £1.50 for all day.

“We have been looking at residents’ parking schemes in Wrexham and recently in the Bradley Road area.

“Following consultation residents they did not support the scheme.

“We will now look at the wider parking strategy later this year and this may involve other areas or a different approach to parking management.

“Any parking scheme needs to be sustainable without the need to place pressure on other council services."