Town slams Rother’s car parking price hike

COUNCILLORS have slated Rother over the “scandalous” decision to increase parking charges in Battle.

Last month Rother District Council voted to increase charges at the Upper and Lower Market car parks to bring them in-line with the town’s Mount Street car park.

From this weekend the cost of parking in Upper Market for an hour is to rise from 70p to £1, whilst parking for between one and two hours is to rise from £1.30 to £2.

A two to four hour parking bracket will be introduced, charging £4.50.

At Lower Market the cost of a stay of up to two hours will rise to £2 from £1.30 and an all day ticket is to go up to £4.50.

Battle Town Council wrote to Rother council leader Cllr Carl Maynard expressing their concern at the rises.

But unsatisfied by the district’s response, town councillor Richard Jessop asked the council at a recent meeting to consider a motion condemning the increase in charges.

He also claimed that Rother had not done enough to alert the public to the changes.

Cllr Jessop said: “Unless you read the local paper or managed to find the cabinet paper, just how do local people know how hard we are being stuffed?”

He added: “The car park charges in Battle are being proposed to increase by 67 per cent in Market Square.

“That’s seventeen times the CPI increase in inflation.

“I think that’s pretty scandalous.

“Once again the motorist in our rural community is being hit as a soft option.”

But council chairman Ron Harris questioned what the motion would achieve at a time when Battle Town Council is in ongoing discussions with Rother over the future of the town’s car parks.

He said: “What is going to be achieved by a motion condemning Rother rather than a firm letter saying that we fail to see the justification in increasing the charges and the parking structure is a nonsense?”

He added: “My own view is I’m reluctant to be over-abrasive with Rother at a time when we are in talks over the car parks.”

Cllr Harris voted against the motion to condemn the increase in parking charges, but was outvoted by his fellow councillors.

The new parking tariff will be introduced on Sunday (April 1).

In Mount Street car park the cost of parking on site for two to four hours will go up from £4 to £4.50.

The hours of charging for all car parks will change from 8.30am-6pm to 9am-7pm.