Telford, Hereford, Worcester – almost everyone takes the new pound coins in parking machines but us

It will be weeks before Shropshire Council coonverts Ludlow’s parking machines to accept the new £1 coin.

Yesterday, I heard from Hereford and Telford and Wrekin councils. They confirm that all car parking machines in their areas accept the new £1 coins. They join Worcester council, which was boasting that all its charging machines had been converted at the beginning of March. Machines in Stafford were revamped last summer and you’ll have no trouble with the new coinage in Powys.

Alas, Shropshire is way behind. Yesterday, it issued a vague promise that its payment machines will be converted later in August. That includes Ludlow.

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Shropshire Council launches consultation on controversial parking charges

Shropshire Council wants to charge you more for parking (see the consultation). It will cost more to park on the street and to obtain a residents parking permit. Charges to park your vehicle if you are a builder are to soar. Car parks will be more expensive, with full cost charging on Sundays and no free parking until eight in the evening. Limits on how long people can park are to be abolished, ending short stay parking in the town.

This scheme is totally wrong for our town. It will damage trade. It will cost residents and visitors more. There is no guarantee than any of the money raised will be used for improvements in Ludlow.

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We should know how Shropshire Council spends the £2.7 million profit it makes from parking every year

Here in Shropshire, we are among the country’s top performers in raising cash from car parking. That’s the verdict of  the RAC Foundation. Of the 353 local authorities in England, only 57 have made more from car parking than Shropshire over the last five years,after essential costs are deducted. The Foundation says that Shropshire Council made £2,751,000 after running costs in 2015/16. Between 2011/12 to 2015/16, the council took in £13,564,000 over and above that needed to cover its costs.[1]

Those making more money than us are London boroughs like Westminster or Camden, or tourist hotspots such as Bath and Brighton.

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Cost of residents parking in central Ludlow is set to double under Shropshire Council plans

Many people in and adjacent to Ludlow town centre purchase parking permits from Shropshire Council to allow them to park on-street. This currently costs £50 a year.

Yesterday, Shropshire Council’s cabinet agreed a consultation on new plans for car park and on-street parking charges. If it sticks to its plans after the consultation, the cost of residents parking permits will double to £100 a year. Residents will not be happy with that hike. They will, though, be able to park in town centre car parks, all day and seven days a week for between £4 and £12 a week.

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Shropshire Council’s proposed new parking charges will hit Ludlow’s economy

You’ll be charged for parking in car parks on Sundays and bank holidays if Shropshire Council’s new charging scheme gets the go-ahead. You’ll also have to pay nearly three times the current price to park on Ludlow’s streets for three hours. Charges in the Castle Street car park will rise by 167% for four-hour stay.

If you have deep enough pockets, you’ll be able to park anywhere on-street or in a car park in Ludlow for as long as you want. Residents will be able to park in the car parks 24-hours a day, seven days a week – if they can afford it.

Shropshire Council’s new parking policy is fine-tuned for Shrewsbury, not the market towns. This could be an opportunity to improve parking in Ludlow. But if the current proposals go ahead, I fear they will hit our local economy.

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