Parking fees to rise at Nailsea and Backwell station as North Somerset Council seeks income increase
PUBLISHED: 06:00 08 February 2017
Train passengers face a huge hike in car park parking charges from April.
Some fees to park at Nailsea and Backwell Railway Station will double, while a 12-month permit will increase in cost by £125.
North Somerset Council-owned car parks in Clevedon will also be affected, with prices at the Hawthorns and Salthouse Fields set to rise.
However, the council has decided not to start charging people to use its free car parks.
This year North Somerset is on course to make £2.69million in parking revenue, however in papers released ahead of yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) decision, it explained the need to increase this total in future.
They reveal the authority is set to make an extra £285,000 by raising fees and says this is because it needs to make an additional 1.25 per cent from its income streams to provide a balanced budget.
Nailsea and Backwell train passengers will see all-day fees rise from £1.50 to £2.40 – which works out at almost £5 more per working week. Weekend, seven-day and three, six and 12-month passes are all set to increase in price too.
Council-owned car parks in Clevedon will also bear the brunt. To park for one hour at the Salthouse Fields or the Hawthorns will rise to £1.30, even in the winter.
North Somerset’s plan to increase charges in Weston and across North Somerset has drawn criticism.
Cllr Don Davies, who leads the Independent-Green group within the council, said: “We are backdoor taxing people with parking charges whether they have a Rolls-Royce or a 20-year-old clapped-out car.”
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told the Times it is wrong for councils to see motorists as an easy revenue source.
He said: “Of course funding our roads is important but there are already high taxes on fuel and car ownership so councils must be careful that they don’t heap even more pressure onto hard-pressed taxpayers.
“What’s more, it is important councils do not become over-reliant on fine revenue otherwise they’ll spend more time and energy simply trying to catch people out rather than seeking to encourage good behaviour on the roads.
“Motorists must not be seen as cash cows who can be used to fill black holes in local authority budgets.”
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