AN increase to car parking fees across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole has faced backlash by residents and tourists.

Higher parking charges have been introduced to seafront car parks and adjacent on-street areas, with each price band go up by approximately 10 per cent.

The changes were implemented on Monday, September 19, and have already caused a stir across the conurbation.

One tourist, who had parked in the Bath Road North car park in Bournemouth, said that the new charges would “probably” put him off re-visiting the town. He said: “It’s disgusting.

“It’s a lot of money. I certainly wouldn’t be paying £3 an hour anywhere else. It’s not so bad in the winter but the summer is bad.

Read more: New parking charges to be implemented across BCP

“It’s the first time I’ve been to Bournemouth in years, but it would probably put me off from coming back.”

The decision to increase the car parking costs was made earlier this year by BCP Council in an attempt to tackle inflation.

Julian McLaughlin, director for transport and engineering, said the changes were expected to generate an extra £359,000 during the 2022/23 financial year.

He added that the extra revenue would be used to “reinvest in parking services” and “cover the rising costs of operating parking”.

Bournemouth Echo: Parking at the Bournemouth PavilionParking at the Bournemouth Pavilion (Image: NQ)

The Daily Echo spoke to a tourist who was staying at a nearby hotel and had been parking in the Pavilion car park throughout his stay.

He said: “We’re staying here for 3 nights. It’s going to cost us 60 quid.

“We tried another car park which is cheaper, but it didn’t seem very secure.

“We come here all the time, but they’re just robbing us now.”

But it wasn’t just tourists the new fees have upset. Bournemouth resident Nicky said she now tries to avoid parking in the town centre where possible.

She said: “I know you’re paying for a good space, but this is getting silly. If I can I’ll go elsewhere. I’ll shop at Castlepoint now because it’s free there.”

The Daily Echo approached BCP Council to ask if prices are expected to go up again next year.

Their spokesperson said: "We’re all facing a challenging economic environment and like everyone, we’re working through what the effect of the cost-of-living crisis is on us. We are working hard to proactively manage this and that includes continually reviewing areas where the council generates income.  

"Any decision to change parking charges would be taken as part of the council’s decision-making process and communicated in advance.”