Car park costs to rise again

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BATTLE shoppers and businesses will be hit in the pocket once again as parking charges in the town are set to rise as much as 15 per cent.

As of April, charges will rise in the Mount Street, Upper Market and Lower Market car parks.

In Mount Street prices will rise from 90p to £1 (up to an hour), £1.80 to £2 (1-2 hours), £3.50 to £3.90 (2-4 hours) and £6 to £6.60 (over four hours).

In Upper Market, charges will rise from 60p to 70p (up to an hour) and from £1.20-£1.30 (1-2 hours), whilst in Lower Market, up to two hours will now cost £1.30, up from £1.20, and all day parking will cost £4.40, up from £4.

However there is good news for bikers, as day charges for car parks across Rother will remain at £1.

But councillors have expressed disappointment in the rises, which come shortly before a Rother District Council review into parking across the district.

Speaking at Tuesday night’s Battle Town Council meeting, Rother councillor Kevin Dixon said: “From a personal point of view, it’s obviously disappointing.

“It’s just 10 per cent on the board without any review as yet.

“In the meantime, 10 per cent is added on to help with the deficit.

“Everything will be blamed on the Government deficit.”

Last year the town council enquired about taking over the running of Battle’s car parks, along with other services, from Rother.

Rother originally offered the car parks with £30,000 attached to the deal, but later the offer of money was withdrawn.

Cllr David Hussey, chair of Battle Town Council, said: “When we talked about devolution of car parks, they wanted five per cent incomes, year on year.

“If we had taken it, it could have been a hell of a lot cheaper than the 10-15 per cent that has been put on.”

Cllr Richard Jessop said: “Derek Stevens (chief executive of Rother District Council) last week actually did invite all parishes in Rother to take over some of the services.

“It was not anything other than a bit of fishing to see if anyone would bite, but it’s clear he wants to unload.”

And it seems Rother is also lacking in Christmas cheer, withdrawing free parking over the festive period.

Cllr Dixon said: “I think it’s extremely petty and unhelpful, but the week’s free car parking at Christmas is being withdrawn in Battle, Bexhill and Rye.

“It’s not clear how much they will save, but it is petty.”

Cllr Hussey suggested the town’s Chamber of Commerce could issue vouchers for free car parking during Christmas.

He said: “It only takes a bit of imagination and initiative to overcome these things.”

Rother District Council’s review into all paying and free car parks is due to take place soon.