Car parking fees shake-up announced

Parking charges in Blackpool have been reviewed
Parking charges in Blackpool have been reviewed
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A shake-up of car parking charges in Blackpool will see drivers made to pay more for on-street parking in the town centre.

The 90 minute on-street charge is going up to £2 from £1.50.

Town centre car parks including Talbot Road, East Topping Street and West Street will also see charges for four hours parking go up 50p to £5.

But parking on the Prom has gone down from £5 to £4 and drivers will get an extra hour, from three hours to four hours.

The review has seen two main tariffs created – one for town centre car parks, and another for other car parks – which council chiefs believe will simplify the charging structure.

A council report says: “Consequently, while last year more parking changes remained the same as the previous year and a few were reduced, this year some of the tariffs have increased, some have decreased and others have remained the same.”

The council says the changes to on-street charges will “encourage short stay usage, facilitating greater turnover of patrons and therefore assisting the local business community.”

But Blackpool businessman Stephen Pierre (pictured), who has campaigned for lower parking charges, hit out a the changes.

He said: “The council has a golden opportunity to increase parking revenue substantially by not increasing but by actually reducing charges.

“Parking spaces that are found empty are potentially losing much needed revenue every hour.

“Support the workers and the local people by offering significantly reduced fee parking at the infamous weekend ‘White Elephant’ Talbot Road multi storey car park.”

Coun Christine Wright, cabinet member for parking, said: “We’ve not increased tariffs for the last three years and have even reduced some. This latest review means that the cost of some car parks has gone down, others have gone up and some have stayed the same.

“This move is not about making more money but is about providing more options for people parking in Blackpool. That’s why we have increased the options available for short stay parking, where people will now be able to choose between parking for 20, 40, 60 and 90 minutes. That is much more flexible than before and is better for those businesses that benefit from a quick turnover of customers.

“When we survey people coming to park in Blackpool, the overwhelming reason why they choose a particular car park is its location. What we’ve found is that even when we offer cheap parking offers, many people prefer to pay extra to park closer to their destination, whether that is shops, restaurants or theatres.

“The amount of people parking in Blackpool continues to rise, which is really positive, and I hope that this move will give people more options when they come in to town.”