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Decision is due on hike in charges for parking

By Sevenoaks Chronicle  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

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THE decision on a controversial plan to increase parking charges in Sevenoaks will be made tonight (Thursday).

Short-stay parking in the district is set to take the biggest hit if Sevenoaks District Council (SDC) approves proposals to hike up the tariffs.

The cabinet is meeting tonight at the council offices in Argyle Road at 7pm. There, it will discuss options set out by the Environmental Affairs Select Committee on October 23.

The four choices have subtle variations.

However, Bligh's parking for up to two hours could be increased by 10p, while shoppers hoping to leave their vehicles for up to three hours may soon be paying an extra 20p in total.

Motorists parking in the car parks in Buckhurst 1 and 2, South Park, Suffolk Way and Pembroke Road can expect to pay an extra 10p for an hour.

Traders and drivers have slammed the proposals.

Deborah Arpino, of Flowers & Glory, said: "They need to be encouraging people to come, not increasing prices yet again. We are all struggling in Blighs and we need the footfall.

"Shoppers here can't relax. They're all dashing in and out, stressing about getting a ticket.

"I can't believe they're going up again."

And Marianne Murphy, who works in new vintage-inspired store Lady Butterworth's in Bank Street, said she was worried too. She added: "It's not exactly good news. Increases in anything that could discourage shoppers is bad."

A spokesman for SDC said: "The cabinet will take into account the economic situation before they reach a decision.

"However, we would stress that we face additional costs associated with running our car parks, including increased business rates and maintenance costs."

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