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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

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Victory over South Lakes night parking charges

AN overhaul of car parking fees across South Lakeland will see overnight charges scrapped.

Residents and visitors to Ulverston will no longer have to fork out £1 to use council car parks between 6pm and 8am.

The move forms part of a parking revenue shake up decided at a South Lakeland District Council cabinet meeting in Kendal yesterday.

Ulverston councillor Janette Jenkinson said: “On behalf of the residents of Ulverston we thank you for taking off these night time charges.

“They should never have been put there in the first place and it’s good to see them go.”

The overnight toll caused controversy when it was introduced last year, with residents and traders fearful of the potential impact it would have.

Councillor Ian Stewart, SLDC’s car parking boss, said: “I think this shows that we are customer focused.

“But we have to understand that the revenue that comes from our car parks is needed to help pay for good things across the district.

“It enables us to redistribute this money rather than putting up council tax bills.”

The changes will also see motorists able to buy three and seven-day permits, valid across all SLDC car parks.

Meanwhile, the popular 20p trial at Stockbridge Lane car park, in Ulverston, will continue for another 12 months.

However, one proposal – to extend hourly charging to 8pm in car parks in Ambleside, Windermere and Bowness – was not approved by members.

Bowness councillor David Williams claimed it was discriminatory to residents living in honeypot areas.

“This is utter nonsense,” he said. “It’s very unfair. Local traders are extremely outraged, as are residents.

“Asking them to pay extra to park until 8pm will adversely affect business.”

He said leaving three car parks free for residents to use after 6pm – Braithwaite Fold in Bowness, King Street in Ambleside and Red Bank in Grasmere – was misguided due to their distance from the shops.

Lakes councillor Heidi Halliday said: “These changes will hit them hard and have serious consequences.

“I would like to discuss urgently how car parking charges can work to the benefit of my ward, not against it.”

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