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Flat-rate woe for shoppers

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: January 16, 2013


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COUNCIL bosses could carry out an urgent review of car parking in Uttoxeter town centre if there are no short-stay spaces included in a new retail development.

The pledge by senior members of East Staffordshire Borough Council came after they refused to abandon plans to scrap 30p half-hour parking spaces on council-owned land in the town. Instead a flat rate of £1 for one hour will be introduced.

Julia Jessel, the council's deputy leader for built environment, told a meeting: "We are not yet aware how the Carters Square car park will be managed. However, should free or low-cost short-term car parking not be available, we should undertake a review to see whether it is required on borough council car parks."

The Carters Square land is due to be transformed into a retail site this year with a new Asda supermarket, doctors surgery, cafe and other retailers such as Home Bargains.

The adjoining car park is still managed by the council but will eventually become privately operated.

It is not known whether this car park will then be free or pay-and-display.

Councillor Jessel said: "Free car parking is available in Uttoxeter at Tesco, but if you are not at your physical peak it's quite difficult walking down the hill to Tesco from town.

"(If free or short-term spaces are not included at Carters Square) we should undertake a rapid review of provision for 30-minute car parking."

Councillor Jessel's claims came as she and other senior Conservatives debated whether to row back on a previous pledge to scrap 30p 30-minute bays and introduce a £1-for-one-hour flat rate instead.

Labour councillors said an increase from 30p to £1 was unacceptable for Uttoxeter's residents and demanded a U-turn.

But Conservative leaders of the council said a £1 straight tariff was 'clear and simply understood' and 'excellent value for money'. They said a public consultation carried out last year showed support for the changes.

The Labour councillors also believe it is wrong for charges to be the same in Burton and Uttoxeter because Burton is a larger town with more shops and facilities.

However, Conservatives claimed they had taken the differences between the two towns into account, pointing out that Sunday parking will remain free in Uttoxeter.

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  • I am in the same situation as the lady in that my car does not even fit into the parking spaces, my car is too long. If the Meter Maid is around I can't take the risk of him giving me a ticket. Do ESBC think we all drive around in tiny cars? This is also actually a tax on the sick. Balance Street Health Centre has no parking so you have to pay to park in the car park. If you are just nipping in to collect a prescription you are going to have to pay for 2 hours to just for 10 minutes. This captive audience should not be taxed for being unwell. I also wonder what people will do for two hours in the town? The rate shops are closing there will not be anything left. I see that Burton has moved its market onto the main street, clever move. They have seen what a success Swadlincote Market has been by putting it on the High Street. Maybe this would be worth trying in Uttoxeter.

  • We go to north Wales and we pay 20p for 4 hours in Prestatyn and Holywell and an all day park in Rhyl £1 . 50p at least the councils in Wales try to keep people local unlike our Tory council.

  • I have lived here 17 years and we were told about a new precinct at the maltings, now its all about paying for a space. My car doesn't even fit in a space and i either walk or park in Tesco/B&Q for fear of being given a ticket as the vehicle doesn't fit. The council are not encouraging people to shop in town as the parking is far to expensive already. My parents live in a more affluent arrear and pay a lot less, but the town is busy with people