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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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South Lakes residents could pay less for car parking

A NEW scheme for local residents could see people paying less to park in the South Lakes.

Council bosses have put forward ideas that could see tourists visiting the area subsiding cuts to parking charges for residents.

As part of its five-year plan, South Lakeland District Council has announced it will investigate options to introduce a card enabling residents to access discounted rates.

Council leader, Councillor Peter Thornton, stressed the scheme is still in its infancy and the council has only committed to looking into how such a scheme could work.

He added: “What we are trying to do is make life a little bit easier for people.”

Revenue from car parks is a major source of income for the council, but the prices charged have long been a source of frustration for residents and traders.

In Ulverston, the introduction of the 20p parking trial at the Stockbridge Lane car park has been hailed as a major success.

The scheme allows motorists to park from just 20p for an hour up to £1 for the day — and has seen usage of the car park rocket, much to the pleasure of local businesses.

But Cllr Thornton warned any discounts for local residents would have to be paid for by visitors to the area.

He said: “We need to keep our income from car parking.”

Other changes over the coming year that have been announced in the plan include the introduction of short-term parking passes.

The day, week or weekend passes would allow motorists to pay upfront and then park in any SLDC-run car park for its duration.

The new initiative, which would see motorists pay £6 for a day pass, is expected to be in place by April.

Cllr Thornton said the plan, which covers a wide range of issues from housing to culture and wellbeing, is a major part of SLDC’s vision for the future.

He added: “A huge amount of money is going to be coming into Ulverston with the plans at GlaxoSmithKline and we have got to be ready for it.”

SLDC is inviting members of the public to comment on its five-year plan, which councillors will vote on at a meeting on February 28.

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