Mid Wales

Cardigan traders want free parking to boost business

car park protestors
Image caption Traders experienced a boom in business when the parking machines were out of order

A protest has been held in a bid to secure free parking in a Ceredigion market town.

Around 40 traders and shoppers marched through the centre of Cardigan on Wednesday calling for two hours of free parking for visitors.

Local shops said their trade increased by up to 20% last year when parking machines in the town's four car parks were vandalised and out of use.

Ceredigion council said parking charges must be "consistent" in all towns.

Image caption A candlelit vigil was held outside the Guildhall by small business owners and local people who support the free parking campaign

The march was led by the chairman of Cardigan Traders, Martyn Radley, who has called on Ceredigion council to give local traders "a level playing field" with out-of-town businesses.

Ceredigion council said the matter had been discussed and the view is that "parking charges must be applied consistently across all towns within Ceredigion".

The council added the charges are necessary both in terms of covering the cost of providing car parking facilities and helping to meet the "extraordinary financial pressures" facing the authority.

Traders have vowed to continue their campaign for free parking.

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