FREE car parking spaces have been reinstated after the council reversed plans to introduce a blanket pay and display scheme across the city.
On Monday, parking in more than 160 bays outside the Food Centre and at Xscape became free for two hours – downgraded from the previous standard rate.
In January, the Lib Dem group, who controlled the council at the time, implemented charges for almost 4,000 free parking spaces to 30p per hour standard rate and created nearly 1,000 premium £1.20 per hour spots where many commuters and employees working in Central Milton Keynes parked for the day.
Many residents living near thecentre:mk complained when the changes were introduced with more and more drivers parking in the nearby estates in a bid to avoid the new charges.
Now the council, under Conservative administration, has reversed the Lib Dems’ decision, with nearly 700 premium spaces returning to standard rate.
The decision was made because many of the car park spaces were left unoccupied after the fee increases were made.
A council spokesman said: “It has been identified that premium bays in certain areas are notably under-occupied to the point of being effectively unused.”
“The reversion to standard rate “centred on maximising the availability of parking to continue to support the economic vitality of the city centre. This will focus on the conversion of under-occupied premium spaces and offering lower cost parking in key areas.”