ELDC proposes radical changes to car parking

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East Lindsey’s inland market towns could face a raft of changes to car parking fees in a radical shake-up being considered by the district council.

ELDC has produced a comprehensive review of the 55 off-street car parks it owns in 14 towns and villages.

The proposed changes will go before the council’s Executive Committee on April 19 to be ratified.

The council says it wants to scrap it’s current ‘once size fits all policy’ and introduce policies tailor-made to individual communities.

The council adds it has listened to as many people as possible during a consultation period but warns it cannot afford to lose the £1.7m net annual income it receives from car parking.

That income provides 10 per cent of ELDC’s revenue budget and councillors warn that without it services would have to be cut .

In Louth and Horncastle, the council is proposing to introduce 30 minutes’ free car ticketed parking in the respective market places.

As it stands, vehicle owners have to pay.

The council suggests that the free period would boost businesses - enabling people to ‘pop in’ to local shops without having to pay to park.

In Louth, all day free parking would be retained at the Cattle Market and Linden Walk.

Charges for long-term parking at other ELDC sites in Louth could be reduced, with the review saying it would encourage people to ‘dwell longer’ in the district’s ‘busiest market town’.

In Horncastle, there are no major changes planned to current charges - apart from the Market Place.

Cars would still be able to park for free for the first two hours on The Wong (Cattle Market).

The situation varies wildly in other towns and villages.

For example, in Coningsby and Tattershall, all day free parking would be scrapped.

Instead, it could be replaced by a two-hour free limit - followed by a scale of charges.

The council says this is because many people are parking in Coningsby and Tattershall all day (without paying) and then using public transport to shop at other towns .

In Woodhall Spa, a two hour free limit will be retained.

In Spilsby, an hours’ free parking will be introduced at four car parks .

The council says data indicates Spilsby has the lowest take-up of parking places across inland market towns.

Other proposed changes will see winter charges introduced or increased in coastal resorts like Skegness and Mablethorpe.

The review has also ruled out the chances of a pay-on-exit scheme being introduced at most parks.

Coun Adam Grist, portfolio holder for the Rural Economy, said: “We have listened closely to the views of local people.”

Current evening parking policy will not be affected.