All change as free parking in Rasen set to be scrapped

John Street car park in Market Rasen EMN-151218-130211001
John Street car park in Market Rasen EMN-151218-130211001
  • West Lindsey says proposals could generate £50k from charges - at a cost

Pay and display parking looks set to come into force in Market Rasen.

West Lindsey District Council wants to charge people to park in John Street, Festival Hall and Kilnwell Road car parks.

The proposal was drawn up by officers and has already been approved by the council’s policy and resources and prosperous communities committees.

It will now undergo a 12-week consultation, with ‘pay and display’ machines planned to be in place by next summer.

The move is estimated to generate an additional £50k for the council.

But will cost £65,000 to put into action.

And there will also be an ongoing annual £31,000 cost to cover enforcement, operating and maintenance costs.

WLDC prosperous communities committee chairman Coun Owen Bierley said: “The idea of introducing a car parking charge to Market Rasen is a way of trying to support local businesses.

“It is hoped it will increase the turnover of spaces for shoppers in the town, rather than commuters parking up all day as they commute to other destinations.”

Charges will range from 30p for up to one hour to £1.95 for six or more hours.

And there will be free parking after 3pm.

Coun Bierley said: “(This) is still 50 per cent cheaper than parking in Gainsborough town centre to reflect the different offer in each of the towns.”

Market Rasen Mayor John Matthews said: “If you go back to when MR BIG was formed, one of the unique selling points was ‘we pride ourselves on free parking’.

“(Since then) the parking trend has changed and we’ve become a park and ride town.

“The car parks are busy with people who are not using the town.

“The charges, in that respect, benefit people wanting to use the high street.

“Parking is becoming more of an issue in the town and we’ve got to look at protecting the residents that live on the high street that don’t have their own parking facilities - some form of cost effective permit could be installed.

“And shopkeepers - I wouldn’t want to see them penalised.

“Properly managed parking restrictions will help businesses in the town.”

But Jossals coffee shop and bistro partner Sally Graham is less enthusiastic.

Ms Graham, whose shop is in the town’s Queen Street, said: “Obviously I don’t want to see them (parking charges).

“It’s bound to have an affect on the whole town, to a certain degree.

“One of Market Rasen’s assets is that it’s free parking and the longer we keep it free to park the better.

“But there’s umpteen flats and new builds that haven’t got car parks that are filling the car parks all day long - but where are they going to park.”

Ms Graham said it would be nice to see the money generated from the scheme to go back into Market Rasen.

The 12-week public consultation must be carried out before any charges can be introduced.

This is expected to start in the spring.