Shropshire Council is to reintroduce parking charges in its town centre car parks from Tuesday 14 July.
The council says that charges will be reintroduced as more businesses re-open and people start to visit the towns in larger numbers following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Charges in all car parks were suspended in March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and in line with Government advice that parking should be free for NHS and key workers. On-street parking charges remained in place.
Since 1 June charges have applied in a number of town centre car parks in Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Oswestry.
On 14 July charges will be reintroduced in all other car parks in which charges normally apply.
It will remain free to park in all Shropshire Council car parks and on-street parking areas after 6pm with the exception of Raven Meadows multi-storey in Shrewsbury.
The majority of car parks will remain free on Sundays and bank holidays including Frankwell and Abbey Foregate car parks in Shrewsbury.
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“With our car parks and town centres getting busier as people return to work, and businesses re-open, we’ve decided to reintroduce charges in the remainder of our car parks from next week.
“A number of important factors have been considered in making this decision. These include our current work to encourage and enable people to safely and confidently visit our town centres; the need to manage parking behaviour; and the need to return to charging for car parks in a manner that supports and contributes to the economy of Shropshire – and that supports steps to reducing carbon emissions in line with our Climate Emergency declaration.
“Free parking also creates problems as it leads to little or no turnover or churn of parking spaces, meaning many people find it harder to find a parking space.
“We appreciate that this decision will be disappointing for some, but want to stress that we will continue to provide a wide range of free and cheap parking across the county and we encourage people to continue to visit our town centres and support our local businesses.”