Shropshire Council plans to increase car parking charges, including in Ludlow

Yesterday, Shropshire Council’s cabinet agreed to a public consultation on increases in parking charges across the county. There are increases in costs for on street and off street parking in Ludlow of 20p an hour. Charges will also be increased for permits to park on street. Car park season tickets will increase steeply. The aim is to raise more money for the cash strapped council to improve the maintenance of car parks and increase parking staff. In Shrewsbury, there is the additional aim of discouraging cars from parking in the loop.

Across the county, the new changes will raise an estimated extra £2 million a year, of which about £1.5m will be from Shrewsbury.

These increases in charges are unwelcome. There should be no change in charges until the park and ride service is improved. That means resurfacing the car park on the Eco Park and increasing the frequency of buses.

These charges will discourage people coming to Ludlow town centre where there are already too many empty shops. They will hit residents and shoppers in the pocket at a time when people are struggling to make ends meet. It would be wrong to increase town centre charges until the park and ride service is improved. Although the parking charges are lower than many places in the country, we are a small town where people have to travel long distances to visit us. With out of town shopping at Sainsbury’s and, soon M&S Food, the increase in charges will decrease footfall in the town centre.

Surplus income from car park charges can only be used to maintain car park infrastructure, new car parks, public transport, highways improvements and environment projects. Income from on street parking can be used in any way Shropshire Council seems fit.

In Ludlow, car park charges currently raise more than £533,000 a year – c. £379,000 a year after administration costs are deducted. That’s around £2.7m net over the six years the current parking charge regime was introduced in 2018. Some improvements have been made to Galdeford car park but where has the rest of the money gone?

The proposed new charges

On street

Red Zone (town centre). On-street parking to increase from £2.00 an hour to £2.20 an hour. No reduction on Sundays.

Blue Zone (outer town centre). On-street parking to increase from £0.60/£0.80 an hour to £1 an hour. Half price on Sunday.

Red and Blue Zones. On-street residents parking permits will increase from £100 to £120 a year.

Car parks

Castle Street car park. Parking will increase from £1.20 an hour to £1.40 an hour. The car park will remain half price on Sundays and public holidays, and free between 6pm and 8am. Season tickets are not available for this car park.

Galdeford A. Charges for the top deck of the Galdeford car park will increase from £0.60 to £0.80. It will no longer be free on Sundays and public holidays when it will be half price. It will remain free between 6pm and 8am. Annual season tickets will increase from £320 to £480.

Galdeford B. Charges for the two lower decks of the Galdeford car park will increase from £0.40 an hour to £0.60 an hour. There is no mention of an increase in the cost of permits for this car park but I am sure there will be when see the full details.

4 comments on Shropshire Council plans to increase car parking charges, including in Ludlow

  1. We all know where the money goes Andy. Some crackpot, money losing wheeze of Shropshire Council. To prop up the ailing County town and the facilities it offers Shrewsbury residents. Shropshire Council owns Theatre Severn, but gives our wonderful Assembly Rooms nothing,ditto Acton Scott Museum. Meanwhile rates in the South of the County are much, much higher than those in Shrewsbury. We should never have amalgamated. Andy, can you please tell me how we have benefited from that?

    1. Correct. It was poor wording on my part. I have changed the text to reflect I was talking about the regime. In passing, that regime is recogised not to be working and it will be revised. In theory, a new regime should be better for us. At the moment a rise in Shrewsbury triggers a rise in the other towns. The idea is to decouple them. But I am not expecting charges to fall.

  2. It doesn’t seem long since Galdeford B went up from 30p to 40 an hour. I’m sure that wasn’t as long ago as 2018.

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