OPINIONS have been split when the news of potential parking charges in Northwich were announced on Thursday, August 2.

Cheshire West and Chester Council revealed that the additional charges could be introduced at some town centre car parks by the end of November and members of the public are divided in their opinion over what the charges mean for the future of Northwich.

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Summer-Louise Marshall, 38, from Barnton said: “This is not what the town centre needs right now. I think adding in these parking charges will stop people from considering a trip into town and they will take their business elsewhere where parking isn’t going to cause an issue.”

Rebecca Jones, 31, from Cuddington said: “With people continuing to shop online more and more it is a real shame that the high street might not even get a look-in now with people not being able to afford the cost of a trip into town if these extra charges push them over their budget.”

Sienna White, 27, from Leftwich said: “I sometimes come into the town just to have a look around the shops and it is very convenient to have these free parking facilities in Northwich.

“I suppose it will put a limit the time people spend on the high street and in the shops, so it is really the businesses that operate around here that will lose out on trade if people are clock watching to avoid extra charges.”

Anne-Marie Farrington, 24, from Barnton said that she regularly uses the car park at Memorial Court and does not mind having to pay if it means benefitting the town centre or surrounding area but worried that these charges could have the opposite effect.

She said: “I’m just not sure if this will make much difference other than put people off who use the free parking regularly but don’t have the spare cash to afford charges.”

Some felt that these charges would be better for the town in the long run, should they be introduced after a consultation period.

Rob McArthur, 40, from Kingsmead said: “I know that a few people moan and complain about the state of the town centre sometimes so if we look at these charges as a way to fund a bit of extra cleaning, a few more benches or emptying the bins then I’m all for it. If we all pay a little bit very time we come here, then it would go a long way.”

Some 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.

Eric Cooper, 67, from Winnington said: “I use my blue badge to park at the market where it is also close to the other shops. I am glad that there will be provisions for drivers, and passengers, with disabilities but I’m not sure for how these microchips are going to work.”

What are your thoughts on the plans to charge for parking in some town centre car parks? Email us at northwich@guardiangrp.co.uk