Parking fee hike still planned despite fears

Dales traders have praised the district council for listening to their views on parking reforms, but say the authority has still ignored their most important concern – that ANY increasing fees will “kill the high street”.

At a meeting on Monday night, Derbyshire Dales District Council announced that it had made significant changes to its parking reform proposals, including: the designation of short-stay car parks; a flat rate £1 evening/overnight charge from 6pm to 8am – extended from the original suggestion of a 6am cut-off; and a cashless payment option for motorists.

It also pledged not to charge for some, currently free, car parks.

Richard Young, representing Bakewell traders, said: “I am pleased the council have listened to some of our suggestions.

“But they have still ignored the most important point – increasing parking fees will kill the high street.”

Rob Short, chairman of Matlock Town Team, said: “Putting up fees will simply drive people to other places, where they can get everything in one trip. The council need to do more to help traders.”

Director of planning, Paul Wilson said that whilst the consultation had shown a “general reluctance” to an increase parking fees, the council must “have regard to the overall financial position”.

“The council is not in a position to take risks on optimistic income assumptions which are not based upon robust evidence,” he added.