SHOPPERS in Hereford will have to pay to park up to 10pm in many of the city’s car parks from next month.
Following a public consultation, Herefordshire Council has announced its plans to extend parking charges into the evenings and on bank holidays both in the city and market towns.
In Leominster and Ross-on- Wye, parking charges will remain the same but will be extended until 10pm and on to bank holidays.
In Ledbury, parking charges will remain in place until 6pm but motorists will see a price increase at St Katherine’s car park.
One hour stays will go up from 50p to 70p.
And those using Bye Street car park will only be able to park for a maximum of three hours.
Hereford’s Merton Meadow car park will increase from £2 all day to £3 all day but other city sites – including Gaol Street, Maylord Orchards and Bath Street – will remain at their current tariff with extended charging hours.
But there is some good news, with charges at Friars Street car park being reduced from £4.70 for more than four hours to £3 and at St Martins which is down to £3 for more than two hours.
However, that will do little to please drivers like Ray Weston, who fears the changes will have an impact on traditional pub and club teams who play games such as darts and skittles.
The captain of Credenhill Skittles Team said: “The changes will undoubtedly have an adverse effect on those attending, which in turn will reduce income for pubs and clubs.
“Does the council not realise that the centre of Hereford needs to have people coming into it to provide the lifeblood to all the businesses within the central area?”
“The council seems to be either unaware of, or uncaring of, the fact that to reduce the numbers of people coming into town will be the final nail in the coffin for many small businesses.”