A DECISION to start charging motorists using a Kington car park has been reversed, to the delight of campaigners.

Herefordshire Council this week revealed fees will not be introduced at the town’s High Street car park after Kington Town Council, residents and traders came together to voice fears that charges would destroy an already struggling local economy.

After meeting with the local chamber of trade and town council three weeks ago, county Councillor Adrian Blackshaw has agreed with them that imposing charges would be bad for both shoppers and businesses.

He said: “While all areas in the county have challenges, we came to the conclusion after these discussions that Kington is a special economic case.

“There is very limited on-street parking in the vicinity of the High Street in Kington and on reflection we feel imposing charges on the car park may have an adverse impact on shoppers trying to access the town centre so I have decided to keep it as a free car park.”

Charges will still go up at the Mill Street car park – to 30p for up to an hour and £1.20 for more than four hours – but the High Street, Love Lane and Market Hall Street car parks will all remain free.

Welcoming the turnaround Kington mayor Bob Widdowson said: “A lot of people were sceptical about whether they would be listened to.

“This has given them a boost and shown them that, if we stand together, we achieve things.

More than 2,000 people had signed a petition against the decision to introduce fees at the High Street car park.

Higher charges will still come into effect in other council car parks across Hereford, Bromyard, Ledbury, Leominster and Ross-on-Wye on November 1.