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‘Insane’ increased parking charges

NEW higher charges in Frome’s car parks – including Sunday charges for the first time – have been met with anger and dismay since their introduction earlier this month.

The new tariffs have come under fire from local businesses while Frome Town councillors have also expressed their concern about Frome’s Sunday economy, calling for Mendip District Council to hand over management of the car parks to them.

Mendip District Council brought in the new charges on Monday 1st October despite strong opposition from the town council and a petition against the proposal with over 6,000 signatures from the community.

Car parks in Badcox, Cork Street, Vicarage Street, Cattle Market, North Parade and Merchants Barton, have all been hit by the new set fee of £2 for any period between 9am and 6pm.

Also, as part of the ‘Mendip District Council (off street parking places) Order 2018’, Frome has seen tariff increases by 10p per hour for short stay car parks and 40p per hour for long stay car parks. However, a number of tariffs have been reduced to ensure charging is consistent across the district.

From Charles Hart Jewellers on Cheap Street, Chris Hart said, “I wonder what the feeling is about the massive rise in car park charges by the completely insane Mendip District Council?

“Knowing the High Street is already under pressure, they think it’s perfectly acceptable to raise charges at their car parks by almost 50%!

“How on earth can they justify the increases? I think there needs to be a campaign by the town against this.”

Leader of Frome Town Council, cllr Toby Eliot said, “Frome’s Sunday economy has been developing over 20 years and is events based. The new Sunday parking charges are a real shame as it puts these events at risk. Mendip should be more focussed on supporting the town, helping it to remain a vibrant place to visit.

“The best thing that could happen is for Mendip to hand over management of the car parks to Frome Town Council, so we could manage them in the best interests of the community – but I don’t think that will happen.”

Amongst the concern regarding the new tariffs, there is some good news for the town – Mendip District Council has confirmed that Sunday parking charges will not be applicable on the day of the Frome Independent Market, which takes place on the first Sunday, March to December.

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