MP condemns parking charges

Chantry centre carpark

Romsey MP Sandra Gidley has condemned Test Valley’s recent increase in parking charges as “cynical and counter productive.”

“With petrol prices hitting 117p a litre across Hampshire” she says “visitors will be harder to attract to towns like Romsey and Andover. The Conservative controlled council’s move to introduce large increase in car parking charges in a post election year is both cynical and ill timed.”

 The higher charges are an extra tax on those who make essential journeys into town and could well drive shoppers away to larger towns.

Mrs Gidley added “We are at the start of a make-or-break opportunity for many businesses struggling to stay afloat. It seems perverse that the council is undermining their own efforts to help businesses at this crucial time by slapping large increases on parking charges.”

The increased charges were introduced to fill the large hole in council revenues left by the poor returns from rents on the borough’s run down industrial estates.

Local Labour party spokesmen have yet to comment on the increase in parking charges or on the government’s failure to manage fuel prices.

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