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No plans to scrap free parking: TVBC
8:30am Tuesday 17th April 2012 in News
WE have no plans to scrap free parking. That was the message from Test Valley council chiefs as councillors backed a review of car parks across the area.
Deputy leader, Cllr Martin Hatley, said there was no proposal to end free parking after 4pm in towns such as Romsey, acknowledging that it was useful to traders and shoppers alike.
“To review is exactly that, to review, and sometimes we have to reassure ourselves we’re doing the right thing,” he told the council cabinet last night.
“I’m confident it’s the right thing and the traders are generally supportive, but you can’t just assume things, so it’s really good practice to review everything. Review doesn’t automatically mean do away with.”
Businesses had feared motorists would face new costs as a report highlighted that most other councils charged up to 6pm, some even for overnight and Sunday. However, Cllr Hatley eased concerns by amending the wording of the report in relation to the post-4pm charge.
The council’s cabinet was considering changes to its 719 Romsey parking spaces as part of the Test Valley car park strategy and management 2012-17.
Cllr Hatley said the strategy would mean a more flexible tariff structure, with length of stay starting at 30 minutes, and had received positive support from the county council and the Hants and Romsey chambers of commerce.
It was approved by members.
After the meeting, Cllr Hatley said: “It’s certainly not a proposal at this stage to introduce charging after 4pm and we’re looking at everything to do with car parking. We’re not ruling it out, but, more importantly, we’re not ruling it in. There’s no reason for the traders and shoppers to be concerned, as full consultation will take place.”