Wales

'Disappointing' Conwy car park charges reintroduced

A pay and display parking sign Image copyright Getty Images

Reintroducing car parking charges is a "kick in the teeth for local businesses", according to a councillor.

Conwy council has reopened its car parks and with it the charges which had been suspended during lockdown.

Chris Hughes said other authorities intended to "keep parking free...to support their business communities".

The council's lead member for transport member said free parking was still available but it expected "considerable use" as more restrictions were eased.

Non-essential shops were allowed to reopen from last week and travel restrictions are expected to be eased across Wales from Monday.

Mr Hughes, a Labour councillor for Glyn ward in Colwyn Bay, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.: "Now, just when they need the support of the council to get their businesses back on their feet, car parking charges are to be reintroduced.

"Flintshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Cardiff, Bridgend and several other authorities in Wales intend to keep parking free through the summer as part of their package of initiatives to support their business communities.

"It's disappointing that the Conservative administration in Conwy does not have the same foresight."

Mark Clemson, former chair of Colwyn Bay Chamber of Commerce, said: "I am sure there are financial restraints but they are the only council locally putting parking charges back on."

A council spokeswoman said car park prices started from 50p an hour, depending on location, adding: "We have 10 free car parks around the county. Plus, four free car parks sponsored by local town councils.

"There are on-street parking areas around the county that are both unrestricted and limited, which are currently operating at about 50% of capacity."

Greg Robbins, lead member for environment and transportation, said the council had considered free parking zones but it had not been raised during conversations with businesses.

He also said other car parks not under council control would have their own charges.

"At this moment in time there will be considerable free parking available," he said.

"Once restrictions are lifted next week there will be considerable use of parking facilities."

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