Councillors ponder free parking initiative in Melton

Burton Street car park, Melton EMN-180301-093603001
Burton Street car park, Melton EMN-180301-093603001
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A move to make parking in council car parks in Melton free of charge after 5pm looks likely to be shelved.

Motorists currently have to pay for tickets up to 6pm but borough councillors considered bringing that forward to 5pm to encourage more people into the town in the early evenings.

A report shows that in the financial year of 2016-2017, there were 24,500 tickets bought in council car parks in the town.

Those in St Mary’s Way and Wilton Road were the most used car parks due to their central location.

Total income from car parks after 5pm was £21,817, but that amount reduces to £11,198 when parking tickets paid for in the Waterfield Leisure Centre car park are taken into account.

A report to go before the environmental and economic affairs committee on Wednesday states: “There is no strong evidence that bringing forward the time when free car parking comes into effect to 5pm will have a significant effect on the evening economy.

“Most of the evening economy activities and participation normally occurs after 6pm, when current tariffs allow for free car parking.”

Councillors had asked for more guidance after considering the move in November.