Parking charges set to rise in Whitchurch and Wem
Parking charges in Whitchurch and Wem are set to rise under plans to be agreed next week by Shropshire Council.
The changes will see parking charges at the council-controlled bays in Whitchurch, Castle Hill Car Park, Pepper Street Car Park drop from their current rate of 50p per hour to 60p.
The cost of parking for an hour in the High Street car park, Wem, will increase by 10p, from 30p to 40p, with parking in other council bays elsewhere in the city also expected to increase.
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 proposals will be presented to the Conservative Cabinet of Shropshire Council on Wednesday July 6.
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.
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.”
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council cabinet member for motorways and the Conservatives’ expected candidate in North Shropshire in the next general 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 slight increase, our prices will continue to compare favorably with those in many other parts of the country.”
Responses from those 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.
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.