Blow for Christmas shoppers as parking charges quadruple

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Shoppers will have to pay four times more to park in some parts of central Milton Keynes - just in time for Christmas.

It has been announced tonight that the price of 300 standard bays will rise from 50p to £2 an hour in spaces spread out near intu and around Silbury Boulevard.

The hefty charge was revealed by Councillor Alex Walker moments after the council said it will create 235 spaces for shoppers next year.

However, motorists may find it a physical squeeze as well as a financial one, as the extra spaces are expected to be created by narrowing existing bays to 2.3m.

“This decision has been a real disappointment from the word go,” said Conservative Mr Walker.

“Despite the council’s very best spin the devil is clear in the detail.

“Not even one single new parking space is to be created and in actual fact it will see over 300 standard bays go from being 50p to being £2 an hour.

“What a Christmas present for shoppers.”

The council also announced tonight that it will change 560 premium red spaces into employee bays after “listening to the public”.

The new bays will be available to park in from 7 December 2015 and will be clearly defined with a black and red dotted line.

They are located in convenient areas close to offices and the main shopping areas of the city centre.

Workers with all forms of employee permit (including RingGO, car share, scratch-cards etc.) will be able to use the premium spaces during the working week.

Councillor Matt Clifton, cabinet member for transport, said, “This is an example of ‘You said, we listened’.

“The public told us that they wanted more parking spaces in CMK for staff who work there and I am delighted that we have been able to deliver on this.”

Other changes which are already in place include the 9.15am parking spaces for those who have child care commitments, but need to park in the city centre after 9am, as well as the free park and shop bays around the shopping centres.

Mr Walker, shadow cabinet member for transport and highways, added: “I really want to see more spaces for employees but not at the expense of shoppers and other visitors.

“The decision is on an experimental basis so I will be watching progress over the coming months very closely.”