TRADERS are divided over plans to increase parking charges at clamper-patrolled car parks.
Portsmouth City Council is considering putting up the hourly rate behind High Street, Cosham, once it takes over parking duties from City Watch Enforcement in April.
Motorists currently pay 50p an hour or £3.50 a day to park at Old Market Road.
But this could rise to 60p an hour or £4.20 for a day ticket.
A car park behind Salvation Army Trading Company charity shop and Totesport, which has free parking and permit-holder spaces, could become 60p an hour.
Permit-only spaces will remain behind the Iceland store.
Tony Broome, owner of Shoefix, on High Street, Cosham, said the new rates wouldn’t burn a hole in people’s pockets.
‘I don’t think an extra 10p is going to make that much of a difference,’ he said.
‘People won’t be getting clamping fines for much longer so that’s going to be a major relief.’
But Dil Dave, owner of Drapewise Interiors, said: ‘The council needs to think a bit more about how it’s going to get the shoppers back.
‘It could have thought about bringing back free parking instead.’
Once it takes over, the council will operate a similar deal to the one in operation at Eastney’s Royal Marines Museum, where it takes a 25 per cent cut of parking fees and gets to keep any fines.
While £50 parking tickets will replace existing clamping controls.
Martin Lavers, assistant head of transport for the council, said: ‘The charges are down to inflation as much as anything. We need to make sure we have enough resources to maintain our car parks each year.’
People have until Wednesday, January 25 to air their views on the charges. Write to Margaret O’Neill, Transport and Environment, Civic Offices, Portsmouth PO1 2NE or email email@example.com quoting MON/AP/1148/3/11 TRO53.