PEOPLE parking in Ludlow are having to pay again.

Charges were lifted during the period after the coronavirus lockdown was introduced but they have now been reimposed.

Shropshire Councillors in Ludlow have reacted with anger at the news that Shropshire Council reimposed charges at the town’s Castle Street car park from Monday.

“This is an incredibly bad move,” said Tracey Huffer, Shropshire councillor for Ludlow East.

“Only the other day we were discussing with council officers ways of helping the town’s economy recover from the effects of this pandemic. We made it plain that we thought that there should be no charges in car parks for some time. We were given no indication that they would be re-introduced so quickly.

“As things relax we need to make Ludlow an attractive place for local people to shop once more.

“Small businesses are having a tough enough time, it appears that local councillors requests to keep our town car park free for the foreseeable future has fallen on death ears!”

Non-essential shops will be allowed to open again from Monday, June 15, in line with Government guidelines but there will still be a need for social distancing.

But Shropshire Council has defended the move.

“With our car parks getting busier as people return to work, and with many shops set to re-open soon, we’ve decided to reintroduce charges in some car parks from next week – while ensuring that there is free parking for our key workers,” said Steve Davenport, cabinet member responsible for highways.

“A number of important factors have been considered in making this decision. "These include our current work to encourage and enable people to safely and confidently visit our town centres; the need to manage parking behaviour; and the need to return to charging for car parks in a manner that supports and contributes to the economy of Shropshire – and that supports steps to reducing carbon emissions in line with our Climate Emergency declaration.

“Public health and safety is clearly a priority and we acknowledge that some people may be wary about using, or queuing at, the pay and display machines. We advise people to follow the social distancing guidelines at all times, and encourage car park users to use the MiPermit app through which they can pay to park without having to use a machine.”