PARKING charges and fines from Northwich’s six town centre car parks have brought in more than £176,000 in total, a year after being controversially introduced.

Cheshire West and Chester Council introduced parking charges at Verdin, Memorial Court, Cumberland, Victoria Club, Market and Watermans car parks a year ago today.

While a number of car parks – including the 900-space multi-storey at Barons Quay – remain free to use, charges ranging from just 20p up to £3 were implemented around the town centre.

The cost of buying and installing meters to enforce the charges totalled £457,311.

A Freedom of Information request by the Guardian has now revealed that between May and October, the six car parks generated £83,452 in payments and fines.

Motorists using the six pay car parks have contributed £61,243 in fees alone, with those overstaying their welcome generating an additional £22,208.

This means that 11 months after the charges were implemented, the council has raked in a total of £176,526.

Speaking about the effects of the charges, Sam Naylor, Labour councillor for Witton for both CWAC and Northwich Town councils says that they have not been detrimental to footfall in the town centre.

Northwich Guardian:

“Nobody wanted to introduce parking charges in the first place, but it was done in the face of government cuts and a lack of money available to maintain the car parks,” he said.

“At the time, there was talk that the charges would effectively kill the town, but that clearly has not happened.

“In fact, footfall has increased over the past year since the charges were introduced.

“The charges have not increased since they were implemented and there are no plans to do so.

“I do not think that the charges have affected the progress that the town wants to make, and my inbox has not been inundated with complaints about the charges.

“You are always going to get retailers, especially small independent traders, who are dead against paying for car parking, but in the grand scheme of things, it is a modest price to pay for the maintenance of the car parks and it is a situation that we have to accept.”

At the time the charges were introduced, more than 3,000 residents signed a petition to have them repealed due to the negative impact residents believed they would have on the town’s businesses.

Northwich Guardian:

This is something which has become reality for some traders, according to Northwich BID manager Jane Hough after speaking with independent traders in the town, despite an overall increase in town centre footfall.

“We have been informed by a small number of businesses that the introduction of car parking charges has negatively impacted the number of customers that they have had through their doors, which is disappointing to hear,” she added.

“Overall however, our data shows that footfall is up by over 10 per cent for 2019 so far, which is good to see because it provides evidence that the car parking charges have not deterred people from visiting Northwich.

“With the festive season approaching, we would urge customers to come to town and shop local to support our businesses.

“They work so hard all year round, and it is more important than ever to help them out by giving them your custom.”

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A request for the number of appeals lodged against parking fines since charging was introduced on November 27 last year and the number that were successful was refused by the council due to the cost of acquiring the information.

To have your say on the parking charges and the impact that they have had on Northwich, email