THE PRICE of parking in Ludlow and across the county will be rising soon.

Shropshire Council will be increasing charges in the council’s car parks and on-street parking areas from April 1. It says it is to encourage people to change their behaviours, and to raise additional income for spending on the maintenance of car parks.

The tariff at Smithfield car park in Ludlow is likely to rise by 20p, going up from 40p an hour to 60p.

Permit and season ticket charges will also increase in proportion with the hourly tariff changes, with an annual permit in Ludlow rising to £480 a year.

It is estimated that the council will make an additional income of £1.76 million per year from the changes after implementation costs have been taken out.

By law, any surplus money Shropshire Council receives from car parking over and above the cost of providing and administering it must be used for the benefit of road users.

Any surplus generated from these changes would therefore be put towards improvements to car parks; and any further surplus money would be used to fund public transport services, road improvements projects and environmental improvement.

The cabinet also agreed the preparation of a Parking Asset Improvement Plan for the repair and maintenance of car parks throughout Shropshire; to review the parking service’s roles and structure; and to review and rewrite the council’s parking strategy.

Dan Morris, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Across the county, our 83 car parks have not kept pace with maintenance requirements such as surfacing, lining, signing, drainage, boundaries, green assets and cleaning.

“To address the car park maintenance needs in Shropshire, an increase in charges is required throughout the county.”

“The existing parking strategy was written in 2017 and adopted by Cabinet in 2018, and needs revision to take account of changing circumstances and lessons,” said a Shropshire Council spokesperson.

“A new, more flexible parking strategy will be written, within the next six to 12 months, which would entail a countywide non-statutory consultation.”