Charges introduced at ‘free’ Thatto Heath car park

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Council chiefs are set to introduce fees of up to £6 to park at a previously free to use car park in Thatto Heath.

The car park on Thatto Heath Road was opened in 2013 and was designed to support local business by offering more free parking in the area.

But council chiefs say it is often mis-used, with some using it as a long-stay car park.

A council spokesman said: “The council and local ward councillors have received numerous complaints regarding inappropriate parking and use of disabled bays, as well as both long stay and commercial vehicle parking.”

From Monday (January 15), a pay and display machine will be introduced to the car park.

The nearby council-run car park on Elephant Lane will remain free to use.

It will allow two hours free parking, after that motorists will be charged 50p for three hours, £1 for four hours and £6 for four hours.

Coun Terry Shields, cabinet member for Green, Smart and Sustainable Borough, said: “Unfortunately, the car park is now seldom used for its intended purpose, to support the local economy, and this trial will hopefully allow the public to access their local shops on a more regular basis which I know is something the local ward councillors have fought to support.

“The introduction of charges is only intended to deter long stay users who can alternatively park on the council’s free car park on Elephant Lane.”