Car parking charges set to increase at Oswestry Festival Square
Parking charges at one of Oswestry’s main charges are set to rise under plans to be agreed by Shropshire Council next week.
The cost of parking for an hour in the Festival Square car park will rise from £1 to £1.20, with parking in other council bays elsewhere in the city also expected to increase.
The proposals will be presented to the Conservative Cabinet of Shropshire Council on Wednesday July 6.
The changes will also see parking charges in the council-controlled bays of Beatrice Street, Oak Street and Oswald Road drop from their current rate of 30p per hour to 40p.
In Ellesmere, charges will drop from £2.30 to £2.50 at Moors and Castlefield parks, while on-street parking near The Mere will drop from £1 to £1.20 per hour.
The board says the move will be the first increase since 2018, meaning the overall increase will be less than the cumulative inflation rate for that period.
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for motorways and the Conservative Party’s expected parliamentary candidate for North Shropshire at the next election, added: “Even with these changes, many car parks will continue to be free, and many will only cost 40 pence an hour. And even with a small increase, our prices will continue to compare favorably to many other parts of the country.”
Earlier this year, Oswestry City Council raised the price of a one-hour stay in Central Car Park from 50p to £1, while longer stays remained unchanged – a move that drew criticism council curators.
In his report to cabinet next week, Shropshire Council official Kevin Aitken said: ‘People’s behavior may change due to financial hardship as the cost of living crisis drags on. relatively inexpensive increase offered is unlikely to be a significant factor in influencing the choice by itself.”
Responses from Oswestry residents who were consulted on the plans show some opposition to the proposals.
A member of the public said, “It’s wrong to raise prices when everything else is going up. People will buy out of town, which will hurt the cities economy.”
Mr Aitken’s report added: ‘It is recognized that for low-income households, whose needs we seek to address across a broad social inclusion group, there can be a negative impact on equality This also includes those we may consider vulnerable, e.g. single parent families, serving military and veterans.”
He also justified the increase against inflationary pressures.
Sunday parking in Festival Square will drop from 50p to 60p, and an annual parking pass will cost £512, down from £448.
The move means the most expensive council-run car parks in the county are in Shrewsbury, where peak-hour parking at The Quarry Swimming Baths, or Bridge Street, Raven Meadows and St Austin’s will cost £2.