Councillors in Horncastle have slammed the introduction of a £2 overnight charge at district owned car parks as a potential ‘disaster’ for the town.
East Lindsey District Council will introduce the charge for next month as part of a revamp of its parking policy which also includes a return of some free parking.
But Horncastle town councillors say the night-time charge will hit restaurants and lead to people parking on already congested side streets.
At a meeting last week, councillors unanimously agreed to write to ELDC, outlining their opposition in the ‘strongest possible terms.”
At present, overnight parking in most ELDC car parks is free after 6pm.
Coun Phil Cantwell said: “This (the £2 charge) won’t do businesses in any favours at all.
“Has East Lindsey seriously thought it through? It will be a disaster for a lot of businesses.
“People will just park on streets which are already congested.”
Coun Cantwell, who owns a restaurant, also voiced concerns about how the overnight charge will be enforced.
He added: “Are East Lindsey seriously suggesting they will pay someone to check car parks at three o’clock in the morning to make sure everyone has a ticket?”
Coun Cantwell intimated the cost of employing night-time enforcement officers would be more than any income received.
He added: “All this from a council who, we keep being told, is trying to encourage businesses and attract visitors.”
Coun Brian Burbidge agreed saying many town centre streets would be ‘clogged up’ with extra parking.
He said: “We need to write to ELDC outlining our objections in the strongest possible terms.”
The £2 charge comes as the district council has been criticised for not scrapping charges at more car parks.
At the moment, only The Wong will be free in Horncastle.
Town mayor Angela Birchall said she would prefer to see free parking at the Market Place and St Lawrence Street instead, saying that would boost businesses.
Coun Maurice Lamb said in regard to free parking and the £2 charge, ELDC had ‘giveth with one hand and taken with the other.’