Parking charges to be cut

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MOTORISTS could soon be paying less to park in Stamford.

South Kesteven District Council is planning to drop fees at its short-stay car parks to 2008 levels in a bid to encourage shoppers to stay longer and help struggling traders.

The current £1 charge for an hour’s parking would be cut to 80p and a four-hour stay would drop from £8 to £4.

Council leader Linda Neal (Con) announced the plans at a cabinet meeting on Monday in response to appeals for help from shopkeepers.

The council is running a public consultation until Friday, March 4, but the decision could be ratified at a council meeting on March 3.

The move, which will also see short stay car parking charges in Grantham reduced, is expected to cost the council £120,000 in lost income but this will be covered a by subsidiary fund.

Coun Neal is urging traders and members of the public to send in their comments.

She said: “Feedback from the community, retailers and businesses told us times are tough on the high street. We are going to reduce car parking charges to do what we can.

“We get feedback saying ‘why don’t you reduce business rates’ but that is not in our gift. We collect business rates, these are set by the Government.”

The price cuts will affect the short- stay car parks in Bath Row, North Street, Scotgate, St Leonard’s Street.

The 50p charge for a 30-minute stay will remain. Two hours’ parking will go from £1.50 to £1.30, up to three hours will go from £2 to £1.80 and up to four hours from £6 to £3.

Charges at the long-stay car parks in Wharf Road and Cattle Market will not change.

If the proposed new charges are approved they will take effect from April.

Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce welcomed the drop in prices. In 2009 it suggested flexible parking charges, including reduced rates at off-peak times, should be introduced.

Its president Tim Lee said: “Obviously we are pleased but it hasn’t gone the whole hog of introducing reduced rates for off peak times which are in our proposal but we think they have seen some sense.

“Hopefully this will attract some people who have decided not to bother to come as they felt the cost was getting too expensive.”