Councillor Klara Sudbury calls for reduced charges in Cheltenham's Grosvenor Terrace multi-storey car park
CALLS have been made to reduce the cost of parking in an under-used Cheltenham car park in a bid to get more people to use it.
Councillor Klara Sudbury (LD, All Saints) says charges at Grosvenor Terrace multi-storey car park should be lowered.
She spoke out after Cheltenham Borough Council revealed plans to improve the facility to encourage more drivers to use the car park.
As reported in the Echo last week, the facility, which has been rebranded as Town Centre East, will undergo a major revamp this year.
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The council, which leases the car park, had already allocated £30,000 for the project and now has added a further £120,000.
Some of the cash will be spent on making the car park greener, with rainwater harvesting and the use of photovoltaic solar panels being considered.
Parking there currently costs £1.20 per hour or £5.50 all day and Mrs Sudbury said lowering the charges would be the obvious thing to do.
"If the council wants to get people to use Grosvenor Terrace car park, reducing charges would be more effective than rainwater harvesting," she said.
The former cabinet member said there had appeared to have been little consultation within the council over how best to attract more people there.
While not claiming to be an expert about what was needed, she said people feeling the pinch in the current economic climate found it expensive.
"Usually, if you want to increase sales of whatever it is you're selling, you decrease the price of it. It's simple economics," she said.
She added that she had never used the car park and wondered whether the fact that it was a multi-storey might also put people off.
They might feel, she said, that it was easier to drive in and out of the nearby St James' Street open-air car park than up to the various levels of the enclosed multi-storey.
And that, she insisted, was why the council should consider reducing the cost of parking there.
She added that, with the planned North Place development, due to take car parking spaces away from the north of the town centre, the Town Centre East car park would become more important.
Councillor John Rawson, the council's cabinet member for finance, said: "This car park has the lowest charges of all our town centre car parks. We will be more than happy to look at any proposals Mrs Sudbury wishes to put forward to us."