“The announcement of a crippling 20%-plus increase in parking charges in Borough Council-owned car parks is a ‘kick in the teeth’ for Cheltenham’s drivers and those contemplating visiting the town for shopping and tourism,” stressed Cllr Tim Harman, Conservative group leader on Cheltenham Borough Council.
“The town already has the highest car parking charges anywhere in Gloucestershire. Let’s not forget that the Liberal Democrat-dominated borough council rakes in £4million-plus each year in car parking charges, and that less than 12 months’ ago car parking fees increased in some areas by up to a staggering 45%.
“Our town centre is already under pressure from out-of-town and online retailers, with national media reporting big changes in high street shopping structures as retailers change to survive, or leave the market. These massive price hikes come on top of the Boots Corner closure traffic chaos, which is driving up air pollution, clogging up our residential streets and has imposed fines topping £1million.
“I have to say that the anti-car, Lib Dem-dominated council is treating drivers and shoppers as cash cows. It is building our town’s unwanted reputation as ‘Rip-off Cheltenham’.