South West Wales

Pembrokeshire car park usage drops after charges introduced

St Thomas Green car park in Haverfordwest Image copyright Google
Image caption Pembrokeshire council hopes to bring in an extra £120,000 a year by charging in the six car parks, including St Thomas Green in Haverfordwest (pictured)

The use of six Pembrokeshire car parks has dropped following the introduction of charges.

Pembrokeshire council has carried out a review of the former non-charging car parks in St Dogmaels, Goodwick, Haverfordwest and Crymych.

It found that, since February and March, when the charges came into force, usage had reduced, and in one case had "dropped considerably".

The review was discussed by the council's cabinet on Monday.

Cabinet member, Huw George, claimed taxpayers in the county "didn't fully realise the challenges facing the authority" and that "difficult decisions had to be taken."

He added that the charges compared very favourably with other local authorities.

Image copyright Google
Image caption More cars have been parked on narrow streets in St Dogmaels, leading to access problems for the RNLI

Motorists have to pay 40p an hour at the sites, and about £1.50 for 24 hours, in a move campaigners said would affect businesses in the areas.

A report to the council said although usage had dropped, there was high demand on market days.

Figures showed there were 144 cars parked at Thomas Green, Haverfordwest, on a Thursday in February before charges came into force. The following Thursday, after charges began, just 66 cars were parked there.

Although usage increased by May and June it did not reach previous levels.

The cabinet agreed to hold further discussions with Crymych council over the future of the village car park, and with the RNLI in St Dogmaels amid concerns roads had become gridlocked over the summer by people parking on the street to avoid the charges.

Cabinet member, Rob Lewis, said "displacement of vehicles" was being monitored.

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