CMK workers ‘targeted’ as parking charges rise

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Thousands of city centre workers are outraged at an “unfair” hike in their parking permit charges.

The employees have all been sent a letter from MK Council informing them of the proposed increases.

In a bid to offset budget cuts, the cash-strapped council is proposing to inflate permit charges by up to 320 per cent.

But they are planning a zero increase in parking charges for shoppers – apart from in the Theatre District multi storey where fees will rise from 20p to 40p an hour.

“It’s outrageous that they have targeted all of us who work at the city centre,” said one permit holder.

“We don’t have a choice. We have to be here and we’ll really feel the pinch financially.”

“We’re thinking of protesting at the council offices. They can’t get away with this.”

Ironically the worst hit are the most environmentally-friendly employees, who either car share or use low carbon vehicles to get to work.

Least affected are those who buy single occupancy permits. Their charge will rise from £540 to £630 a year.

Tory councillors have accused Labour of using parking as a “cash cow” for the council.

But council leader Pete Marland said: “It’s a case of balancing the cost of employees’ parking permits against the growing number of elderly or disabled people needing adult social care in Milton Keynes. We can’t save both.”

Mr Marland said it was decided not to increase parking charges for shoppers because it was feared this would deter people from visiting the centre, which is already suffering from decreased footfall.