A protest against the new parking charges in Cirencester’s Brewery Car Park took place today, Sunday 8 January.
Cotswolds Liberal Democrats and local residents challenged the New Year parking hike by taking to the streets and alerting drivers to the new charges.
Cotswold District Council’s Lib Dem group have campaigned against recent price rises and attempts to extend parking charges to Sundays and night time in local authority car parks in Cirencester and other towns in the district.
Group leader, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (Churn Valley), said: “There has been a spectacular lack of vision by the controlling Conservative group on the Council which has seen the motorist as an easy way of raising revenue without considering the drastic impact on local businesses that are already struggling because of the recession.
“We have been reminding motorists that the new charges started from 1 January and that all other car parks across the town are free on Sundays and evenings. If we can help people save a few pounds in the process by alerting them to free parking elsewhere it will be a job well done.”
He believes that the CDC pilot scheme in the Brewery Car Park is ill advised, “They went ahead with price hikes at the start of last year and, although our campaign helped change their minds about Sunday and night-time charging, they have insisted on pressing ahead with these unwise charges at the Brewery Car Park in Cirencester.
“We are calling on the administration to think again about this extension of charges (and any others they might be considering) in order to help retailers and restaurants in our town centres.”
He said local businesses contributed significantly through business rates and deserved the full backing of the Council.
The Council’s Liberal Democrat councillors were joined at the protest by residents who are angry at the extra charges and are encouraging as many people as possible to boycott the Brewery Car Park and park elsewhere in the town.
Paul added, “Around 60 people joined us today. This is about people power and not caving into an idea which hasn’t been thought through. We have to stand up for our residents and businesses at a time when household income is going down.”