Parking fees profit was just 79p a day

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PARKING charges in two Buckingham car parks are to be cut – and the move comes as new figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed unpopular price hikes had generated extra income of just 79p a day from Stratford Fields car park.

From Monday, May 23, motorists will be able to pay 50p to park for up to three hours and £1 for a four-hour stay in the town’s Western Avenue and Stratford Fields car parks.

In addition, the all-day charge will fall from £2.50 to £1.50 – £1 cheaper than the long-stay rate at Cornwall’s Meadow car park.

Parking for the first hour will continue to be free and parking up to two hours remains at 30p.

Western Avenue car park has been at the centre of a row between Aylesbury Vale District Council and Western Avenue residents ever since a daily £2.50 charge was imposed there last August.

Since then, people living in the area have complained motorists are boycotting the car park, and instead leaving their cars in the nearby streets.

Traders on Buckingham’s West Street have also complained of a drop in passing trade.

Buckingham town councillor Rob Lehmann who obtained the revenue figures which revealed the Stratford Fields car park generated just 79p a day and Western Avenue £20 a day, said: “It is time for AVDC to recognise that it is wrong to charge users in the ‘out of town centre’ car parks in Western Avenue and at the Buckingham Athletic football club.

“Those valuable parking facilities are largely empty as those who work in the town use residential streets to park. The revenues generated by users indicate what a disaster the exercise has been.”

AVDC parking services manager Stephen Harding said: “These changes mean cheaper and easier parking in both Western Avenue and Stratford Fields and that’s good news for every motorist wanting to use these car parks. The new charges will also benefit traders across the town.”

Buckingham Waitrose manager Darren Kimber, who chairs the Buckingham Traders’ Association, said: “This is great news for the whole of Buckingham. It will now hopefully mean that these two car parks will start to be used to their full potential and give people a choice of where to park whatever the length of time they are in the town. This has been a great opportunity to work in partnership with AVDC in reviewing car parking charges in Buckingham.”

There will be no change to charges in Cornwall’s Meadow car park.