Parking fees to rise

AN INFLATION-busting rise in Wigan’s parking meter prices is on its way.

The price of on-street parking across the town centre is set to rise by as much as 36 per cent, leading to fears that shoppers will stay away, at a time when they are already feeling the effects of the recession and Government cuts.

Council opposition leader Coun Gary Wilkes (Independent) thinks the rise will hit retail spending in the quiet time after the Christmas sales.

And Peter Billington, managing director of A and M Carpets, on Library Street, said: “The council is destroying the town centre, they just don’t seem to know what they are doing. The short stay charge will only suit shoppers who happen to want a business right next to their car park, so for most of us it is irrelevant.

“It is difficult enough to keep on trading without this.”

But the borough’s executive director of environment insisted that, even with the rise in charges, parking costs remained competitive.

Wigan town centre has almost two dozen metered parking bays and zones, including Dicconson Street, Hallgate, Bishopgate, Dorning Street, Library Street and Standishgate.

From February 14, a series of new charges are introduced:

Three hours’ parking increases by 80p from £2.20 to £3.00;

A two-hour stay goes up 70p to £2;

An hour’s parking will cost an extra 20p to £1;

And a half hour stay goes up by 10p to 70p.

Charges in the multi-storey car parks will also climb, with a three-hour stay almost doubling to £2.50. However, there is also a new £1 tariff for a stay of less than an hour.