Cheaper parking has brought more visitors to Uppingham

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THE latest parking figures show that the number of people visiting Uppingham for one or two hours has risen over the last six months.

Uppingham Town Council agreed with Rutland County Council, which own the car parks in the town to subsidise the parking tariffs in the town for one and two hour parking to prove that lower charges mean more people will visit.

The council had increased the charges for one hour from 10p to 40p and for two hours from 40p to £1.20p. The town council agreed to pay the difference if the county council lowered the charges to 20p for one hour and 80p for two hours.

Although the figures show that roughly the same number of tickets were sold each month in comparison to the same month in 2010, the number of people visiting the town for one or two hours rose significantly.

In August 2010 the number of people parking for up to one hour was 2,777. In August this year it was 4,034.

But in the same month the number of people parking for up to three hours fell from 1,769 in August 2010 to 860 in August 2011.

The county council are currently in discussions with the town council about the figures.

At a meeting of Uppingham Town Council on Wednesday Coun Robin Schlich of North Street West, Uppingham, said: “We are almost back to the number of people that we had visiting the town for shorter periods before the parking charges increased.

“This exercise has proved to be justified and successful and I hope it will be borne in mind as discussions with the county council take place as to what to do in the future.”

The town council could not make a decision on whether to include further subsidy for parking in its precept because it had not discussed the matter with the county council and decided to put the matter off until a special meeting on November 23.

The town council has agreed to look into leading the way in localism by discussing with the county council whether it will be possible to take over some services from them. Among the suggestions that may be considered are the car parks, street lighting, grass verges and public toilets.