Somerset

Bath parking charge rise 'hits businesses'

Traders in Bath say their businesses are suffering since the local council increased parking charges in the city at the start of the year.

Bath and North East Somerset Council put tariffs for on-street parking up by 42% in January, which it says is fair compared to other cities.

However, unhappy business owners are to hand in a 1,500-strong petition asking for the fees to be reduced.

Shop owner Jo Davies said traders want the council to reconsider the charges.

'Charges are fair'

She said: "Since it's gone up we have noticed a huge footfall drop within the area. I think there should be something to entice people to come into the town centre rather than keep them out."

Rajan Doshi, from A.H. Hale Pharmacy, said he has also seen "a real drop in customers", and there are always empty parking spaces nearby now.

Bath Taxpayers' Alliance's Tim Newark said the increase in charges has "scared people off" from coming into the city.

"There has got to be a balance somewhere," he said.,

A Bath and North East Somerset Council spokesman said the authority would consider the petition.

However, he added that the majority of on-site parking charges in the city have stayed the same since 2010, and that the charges are fair.

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