Car parking charges across Wyre have been frozen for another two years – and residents will still be able to park for free.
Wyre Council’s cabinet has approved recommendations to maintain charges as they are, retain the residents parking permit scheme and commit to reviewing car parking charges again in 2016.
The move is part of the council’s parking strategy between 2014 and 2019.
It means parking remains free for Wyre residents for two hours in designated car parks, three free hours parking for disabled badge holders will be retained and the policy allowing tickets bought by 6pm to remain valid until 8am the next morning also stays.
It comes after The Gazette reported last week how council bosses were considering applying charges to free car parks, sparking concern among some traders.
But Coun Roger Berry, cabinet member for neighbourhood services, said: “Until 2016 we’ll be freezing car parking charges at current levels and retaining the residents permit scheme.
“And of course, the free car parks will remain free.
“During 2016 we will be able to make a full assessment of the impact of Booths taking over the Teanlowe car park in Poulton and Windsor Road in Garstang.
“At that point we shall be asking councillors to review our car parking charges.
“We feel we’ve got to see what the impact of Booths is at these car parks.
“I think it’s a good news story for residents, businesses and visitors to Wyre. It will further encourage people to shop and come into our town centres to use amenities.”
He added that proposals to review parking costs as a whole, including the possibility of introducing charges at its leisure centre car parks in Poulton and Thornton and also Central car park in Fleetwood, will not be examined until 2016.
Wyre Council leader Peter Gibson has moved to reassure residents and traders there are no imminent plans to introduce charges at free car parks at Thornton and Poulton leisure centres and Central car park, Fleetwood.
He said: “This is a strategy until 2019, there is no intention to start charging on free car parks.
“We’re investing in the centres so we’re not going to start pushing people away. You have to leave things open but there’s no plans to charge for now.”