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Bournemouth councillor vows to keep parking prices down
CHARGES: Revenue from car parks such as the Winter Gardens car park, pictured, has made £6.9m during the 2011/12 period
WE won’t treat motorists like cash cows – that’s the pledge from a Bournemouth councillor who has vowed to try and keep parking prices down.
Parking charges have been frozen for the past three years in Bournemouth in an attempt to try and encourage more shoppers and tourists to visit the town.
And Cllr Michael Filer said the council would not “milk” motorists in an attempt to boost their budgets.
He spoke out as the Institute of Advanced Motorists published figures showing that, across the country, councils have increased the amount they are making in parking charges and fines by an average of 15 per cent.
In neighbouring Hampshire, councils raked in nearly £10million in parking charges during 2011/12 – an increase of 44 per cent on the previous year.
But across Dorset and the New Forest, local authorities saw their income revenue from parking fines and charges reduced by a total of £8.1m to £6.9m.
Bournemouth, Poole, East Dorset, Purbeck and the New Forest all made less during 2011/12 than they did in 2010/11. Only Dorset County Council, North Dorset District Council and Christchurch increased their revenue.
Cllr Filer, Bournemouth’s portfolio holder for transport, said: “I shudder when I see some of the increases across the country.
“If I had my way, this would certainly not happen in Bourne- mouth.
“We are a tourism resort and we want people to come here. We are happy for them to come by car.
“When they are here, we don’t want to milk them out of excess funds.
“The only problem we have in the town at the moment is privately owned and operated car parks that charge more than the council and help give the town a bad name.”
He said he could not guarantee car parking charges would not increase but added: “We are trying to be sure there will be no increase. That’s certainly what we are looking for.
“We want to entice motorists from all round the region to buy season tickets and period tickets.
“We would rather have more usage and less cost.”