Parking fees are set to rise alongside a removal of short stay options across Warwick in a bid by the council to raise an extra £200,000 next year.
But town centre traders fear changes will kill business and continue to drive shoppers away from the high street.
People will simply not be prepared to pay £2 for a quick run to the shops.Mandy Littlejohn
Warwick District Council’s executive has already approved a rise in parking tariffs which is now out for consultation before being implemented next year to raise £200,000.
Changes will see minimum parking times of two hours across the majority of the town’s car parks, as well as an increase of 50p to park all day.
Plans would see long stay car parks, Linen Street, Castle Lane, the Butts Priory Road and West Rock will no longer offering tickets for less than two hours for a £2 charge in what traders say will have devastating effects on businesses.
It is estimated that removing short stay blocks will raise £25,161 in Warwick alone next year, with a further £23,948 from upping the all day charge.
Gary Charlton contract services manager at the council said the changes were vital to fund major repairs to multi-storey sites across the district.
He said: “We want to encourage people to stay in long stay car parks for longer, that’s what they are there for rather than being used for short stay.
“We need to raise revenue and this is how we propose to do it. Linen Street is nearing the end of its life and needs £500,000 for essential repairs over the next three years.”
But town mayor, Cllr Mandy Littlejohn, who owns a Warwick business said: “These are key sites for Smith Street trade and people will simply not be prepared to pay £2 for a run to the shops.”
“Even though the reality is only £2, the perception will kill businesses as it will go round that you cannot park.
“The alternative is to go to Leamington or Kenilworth.”
Town councillors also raised fears over people parking illegally to evade the minimum charge in the already congested town centre streets. Short stay linear charges from 12 minutes would remain an option at St Nicholas Park, Westgate and New Street.
Changes will be finalised by full council on December 2.