Drivers hit by rise in car-parking charges

By Jake Chown  
Wednesday 18th September 2019 2:57 pm
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Parking charges in Abergavenny are set to rise after Monmouthshire County Council made the announcement last week.

After publishing a public notice in this newspaper, the county council revealed that parking charges across the town’s car parks would rise by ten pence, with the council keen to encourage drivers to pay for an annual permit at discount.

The new car parking charges in Monmouthshire mentioned below will take effect on October 7, this year.

For example, the current charge of £1.10 for the first two hours of parking in the town’s Castle Street car park will rise to £1.20, whilst a three-hour stay will rise to £1.90.

Within the same car park, a half-day ticket will rise from £2.20 for four hours to £4.40 for a full day

Meanwhile, drivers who enjoy free parking at Byefield Lane, whilst paying £3.30 on a Tuesday, will see that rise to £3.60 for the full day.

The rise in charges appears to encourage a longer-term approach as drivers who are willing to pay for a full-year of parking will make considerable savings, with long-stay season permits priced at £430 for a full year, whilst drivers will pay £220 for a half-year, and £110 each quarter.

Drivers in Raglan, and Usk, will not be charged in the Twyn Square, and Chepstow Road car parks.

The move comes as free parking offered at the town’s Morrisons store earlier this year cost Monmouthshire County Council almost £300,000 in lost income.

The two hours free parking offered undercut the council’s pay and display car parks, with councillors warned in January to expect losses of £197,000.

But those costs spiked to £275,000 by the end of the financial year, with the council losing £2,000 in a potential week.

Back then, new parking chargesâ??increased by 10 per cent, were not introduced until July 2018, meaning the council lost a full year of higher fees.

The shortfall was also been blamed on the temprary closure of two car parks in Abergavenny and Monmouth, both of which have since reopened.

During negotiations over the Morrison’s site, formerly the cattle market, the chain had been asked to apply the council’s charges for the 223-space car park.

That requirement was removed in favour of a larger payment for the land, with the final deal being struck for £13.75 million upfront and £4 million spread over 25 years.

Speaking in January, a council spokesman said, "While negotiations were undertaken the Morrison chain was withdrawing from sites elsewhere as the supermarket sector contracted in response to structural changes in the market.

"Accordingly, our priority was the retention of the supermarket to increase footfall in the town centre and offset the likelihood of shoppers visiting neighbouring towns.

"It is inevitable that the creation of an additional 233 car parking spaces in Abergavenny would have an impact on car parking income regardless of whether charges are imposed, and we are delighted that the scheme as a whole has been such a success."

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