The Chamber knows that councils have to charge for parking to ensure turnover in car parks, to help with the provision of local services and to pay the costs of running the car parks.
While the public also expect to pay to park, it should not be a cash cow.
It is also crucially important that Cheltenham does not become more expensive than competing towns at a time when retail in particular and town centres in general are struggling.
The Chamber was concerned when charges were increased in the borough’s car parks in March 2018 but understood that it was inevitable as there had been no increases for eight years.
However, this April, the charges went up again. The changes included the price for four hours in Rodney Road going up from £5 to £6, for an hour in Regent Arcade from £1.50 to £1.70 and for up to three hours in Town Centre East from £3.50 to £3.90.
Chamber Chief Executive Michael Ratcliffe wrote to the borough council cabinet member responsible, Councillor Andrew McKinlay, to say that the town’s parking charges do not support a positive experience. He has asked that the council become sensitive to the increasing competition, particularly from towns that are reducing charges after 3pm.