Labour-led Milton Keynes Council have caved to pressure from opposition Cllrs and market traders and have confirmed parking charges around Market Square will be reduced.
The council have confirmed it will be relocating the 177 ‘peak permit parking spaces’ better known as the lady bird spaces, away from Market square.
The spaces were priced at £2 an hour for shoppers and as a result traders were reporting a significant fall in footfall threatening their survival.
However, the parking charges will now fall to 50p an hour.
The move was welcomed by Conservative Cllr Alex Walker who has raised the issue several times in Council and has visited traders to see for himself the drop in footfall. He said: “I am very pleased the council have seen sense and will reduce the cost of parking in Market square. The decision to increase prices was madness and it was driving shoppers away and worse still the spaces lay empty for significant periods of the day.”
Fellow Cllr, Edith Bald added: “There is still much more to do on CMK Market. We put forward a five point plan in May to make it a more attractive and more modern market which I hope will be taken up by the Labour Cabinet.
“The last thing anyone wants to see are traders moving away and MK losing its central market which is a real threat to the local economy.”
The original decision to introduce the lady bird spaces across areas of CMK was in response to calls for additional parking from employees. However, almost a year on from the change there remains criticism they are not delivering what is needed which is more spaces in the right places at standard parking rates. Some say they have made parking charges more confusing and there have still been no actual additional spaces created by the Council leaving the lack of parking spaces still a real issue in CMK.
The new parking charges are expected to be in place by November.