A parking discount scheme based on how much you spend in the shops is now being considered by Wiltshire Council in a bid to stem the rising anger – and a threatened revolt — over increased parking charges.
The county has decided to carry out a major review of its decision in February to bring all the charges into line with those operating in Marlborough and put an end to its one-hour free parking concessions.
And they have hit on the idea used in Hungerford whereby parking charges are discounted according to how much shoppers spend in their local High Street.
Nick Fogg, one of Marlborough’s two county councillors, has revealed the possibility to Marlborough News Online, pointing out: “Everyone nationally is upset about being fleeced by parking charges – absolutely.”
“Most of the county has now been brought into line with Marlborough. Some towns like Chippenham are really up in arms and down in Salisbury there’s actually a revolution going on about the rise in parking charges — because they are really hitting trade.”
“One idea they are considering, which I think is a very good idea, is this scheme whereby if you can show that you have shopped to a certain level then you get cheaper parking, as they already do in Hungerford.”
“The council is thinking of a county-wide scheme affecting all the towns. They will have to persuade the shops to take part but I would have thought it is in the shop’s interest, especially if supermarkets like Waitrose agree.”
He used to make a weekly trip West Byfleet, in Surrey, and, at Waitrose there, if you spent £3 in the store then you were allowed 90 minutes free parking, a scheme that is also used in other towns.
“It is that kind of thing that is being considered,” he added. “And I hope it will work.”