Free evening parking – but plan could see other fees rise by 10%
Evening parking charges in Ashford town centre could be scrapped in a bid to boost the night time economy.
Council chiefs have suggested plans to cut parking charges between 6pm and 10pm on the High Street, Bank Street and North Street, effectively making those areas free parking from 6pm.
The plans form part of a review to the borough’s parking charges, which will be discussed at a Ashford Borough Council (ABC) cabinet meeting next Thursday.
The parking overhaul could also see an increase in some parking charges, with on-street and of-street car parking set to go up by 10% during the day.
This would mean the current £1 an hour would increase to £1.10, £2 up to £2.20, etc.
Cabinet members will also be asked to introduce a brand new £1 charge to park overnight in council car parks from Monday to Saturday.
ABC also plans to introduce new parking terminals that offer contactless payment, which will cost £12,000 and is set to be in place by April 2017.
The Kentish Express revealed the plans online last week and they received a mixed reaction.
Most residents hope scrapping town centre charges will give the intended boost to night-time economy, but some say it could be too little too late.
Colin Riley said: “Shame this idea is like five years too late. Let’s hope it will help”
Michelle Lloyd added: “Wow the council finally get i t. Although I don’t think it necessarily needs to be free in the town centre. I think the hospital is more fitting for free parking.”
Some people were critical of the entire scheme.
Ashford mum Beccy Cackett
What do you think of the parking changes? Write to Kentish Express, 34-36 North Street, Ashford, TN24 8JR or email email@example.com said: “So to make up for the lost income from town centre parkers they’re slapping the extra on those, like me, with young kids who can’t necessarily go out of an evening and have to go out in the day.”
It could soon be free to park in the town centre after 6pm as the council considers taking action to boost the night-time economy