CHARGES could be introduced at some Northwich town centre car parks by the end of November.

Cheshire West and Chester Council is planning to introduce the charges – ranging from 20p for two hours, up to £3 for 10 hours – in Market, Victoria Club and Watermans, Verdin and Memorial Court and Cumberland Street car parks.

Parking will remain free at Barons Quay, as well as at Old Depot Site, Zion Street and Park Street.

Northwich Guardian:

The recommended new tariffs, which will undergo statutory consultation.

The council has published an action plan detailing the proposals, which it says is designed to better manage car parking demand across the town as part of the borough's 15-year parking strategy.

The council’s cabinet member for environment, Cllr Karen Shore, said: “Over the coming years, the Council needs to invest in car parks so that we have enough clean and safe spaces, in the right places, with clear signage and new technology to make it easier and more convenient for people coming to Northwich town centre by car.

“When this action plan is implemented parking in Northwich will be easier and more accessible for everyone, supporting residents and businesses. Parking charges and other controls will ensure everyone can park where they need to, when they need to.

“Land available for car parking is decreasing but population and car ownership rates are steadily rising.

“With this action plan for Northwich we are introducing the right controls in the right places to release capacity for short stay parking to boost businesses, encourage visitors and also to improve car park quality.”

A CWAC spokesman added that a programme quality improvement works is set to begin in October.

They said: "Well managed parking facilities are essential to support the numerous regeneration projects in Northwich which will invest in and improve the town.

"A new masterplan was recently unveiled for the Weaver Square area, to create a vibrant new neighbourhood for the town to complement previous investments including the development of Barons Quay and public realm improvements on Witton Street, part of a package of measures to ensure that Northwich thrives.

"Surveys into car park usage have shown that central car parks in particular are being used to full capacity both on weekdays and to some extent on Saturdays.

"This is resulting in traffic queues as people search for a parking space. 

"The plan therefore includes controls for central and edge of town car parks to release more capacity for short-stay shoppers by encouraging long-stay commuters to use more outlying car parks."

Blue badge holders will be able to park for free for up to four hours and borough residents can register for a special micro-chip blue badge for use in some large ANPR controlled car parks, as is already the case in Chester.

Memorial Court leisure centre users would be entitled to three hours of free parking.

More to follow.