October 17, 2018 2.45 pm This story is over 64 months old

Market Rasen parking permits could rise to support free visitor spaces

People will be asked to pay more to support the visitor economy

Parking permit prices could be set to rise by double or even triple their current amount by 2021 as West Lindsey looks to keep free parking in Market Rasen – however, officers say the costs of the scheme will still not be met.

The authority’s Prosperous Communities committee is set to look at a series of rises in the cost of permits over the next two years.

The move will see the cost of a six-day permit rise from £106 to £216 in 2019/20 and then £306 in 2020/21, if paid by direct debit this would be £92.02 to £180 to £264.

The permit scheme originally saw an increase in costs in a bid to match a shortfall of funding created when the authority introduced a two-hour free parking scheme in the town to try to increase footfall.

The proposed rises set to go before councillors next Tuesday along with the comparison figures for buying a ticket daily.

A report to the authority next Tuesday says that at the time: “The Executive Director for Economic and Commercial Growth highlighted that there had been a perception locally in Market Rasen that car parking charges had been detrimental to the town centre, but that the evidence had been inconclusive on this point.”

It also says: “Continuation with this policy of an initial free two-hour period will assist in securing a new regeneration plan for the town to enhance its vibrancy and improve the environmental conditions of the high street encouraging access on foot, specifically from the new residential developments.”

However, it will also say that the council currently loses £9,600 in revenue due to the change and, if the price increases are agreed, that will only reduce to £5,800 in the first year and £3,200 in the second.

The current shortfall is said to be being met from income from Gainsborough’s Car Parks.

The council does however, say that if those in the parking scheme were to pay on a £2-a-day basis, they would be paying a total of £608 a year in 2021 – more than double the cost of the permit.

A consultation by the authority regarding the proposed changes saw 1,175 responses with 740 agreeing to the gradual two-year increase, and 346 calling for the withdrawal of the free two-hour car parking – 22 others said the permit should rise in full from April 2019.

Comments included in the report also make a number of suggestions, including only having one hour free parking and extending the two-hour scheme across the entire district.