Wales

Opposition to parking fees plan on Anglesey

Pay and display ticket machine
Image caption Currently there are 27 pay and display car parks on the island

A council bid to raise funds by charging for parking at Anglesey sites which are free has run into opposition.

Anglesey council wants to increase its pay-and-display car parks from 27 to 35 to raise an extra £30,000 a year.

One councillor said councillors should take an allowances cut instead, and a traders' leader said there should be no charging in town centres.

The council said it had "little option but to look at ways of generating income" in the dire financial climate.

The new proposals would see all-day car parks at the village car park, Cemaes; library car park, Benllech; the Square car park, Benllech, and Stanley Crescent car park in Holyhead.

A new short-stay car park would be created at Railway stores car park in Llangefni.

New seasonal car parks would be created at library car park Rhosneigr; Church Bay car park and beach car park, Rhoscolyn.

'Detrimental effect'

Ian Ashworth, chairman of Holyhead Chamber of Trade, said there should be no charge for parking in any town centre, so that people were encouraged to used local shops.

"There used to be a free car park under the bridge in Holyhead and it was always full, but the day they installed the pay-and-display machine there were just three cars there," he said.

"People go to where's convenient and try to get the closest to where they want to go, and out-of-town shops provide free parking," he added.

Altering the car parks would cost about £32,000 but the annual income is anticipated to be between £30,000 and £35,000.

Llanbedrgoch councillor Barrie Durkin said the money should be raised by councillors taking a cut in allowances, so that island residents did not suffer.

"I, as with many others, feel this could have a detrimental effect on our already fragile local economies, particularly in the rural villages where the use of the car is a necessity," he said.

"To make a real difference, 50% of our basic and special responsibility allowances would generate some £360,700 per annum, at the stroke of the pen, and show our electorate that were prepared to put more back into our communities other than mere representation," he added.

A council spokesperson said that in "today's dire financial climate, the authority is faced with little option but to look at ways of generating income if it is to safeguard services for residents".

He added that a number of towns and villages had enjoyed free parking for a number of years, while motorists parking in other areas have had to pay.

"The introduction of eight new pay and display car park will ensure a more consistent approach across the island," he added.

Existing pay and display charges could also be minimised, he said.

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