UK tourists who holiday in Wales warned over new £5 daily charge

UK tourists have been warned over a new £5 charge in a popular Welsh resort town. British holidaymakers who holiday in Wales on staycations - or who take day trips - have been warned as a new £5 charge is implemented, with the local council defending the measure.

Local leaders have used a surprising justification for the new charge. Ceredigion County Council in Wales wants to end its free parking policy on a stretch of the Aberystwyth seafront and the council believes the charge will actually increase footfall on the promenade.

A report to the Thriving Communities Scrutiny Committee said: "Evidence from across Wales and the UK where charges have been successfully introduced suggests that a higher turnover of spaces may encourage more people to visit Aberystwyth knowing that they would have somewhere convenient and available to park on the Seafront for shorter term visits.

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"In addition to the increased turnover and footfall that is anticipated in the direct area of the scheme, it is anticipated that increased use of off-street parking provision will have a positive impact on footfall on a wider area than just the Promenade and immediate town centre, as occupants of vehicles parked in off-street car parks will pass along more secondary retail locations/streets to reach the town centre locations/promenade.

"Introducing charges will allow the Council to invest more in enforcement, which should increase the turnover as people are more likely to comply with the road traffic restriction in force across the whole of Aberystwyth. This increase in turnover increases availability and therefore footfall and trade.

"Parking will be free after 20:00 hours and before 8am the following morning, supporting trading during the evening and the night-time economy." The charges would see motorists have to pay £3.50 for two hours of parking or £5 for four hours.

The report continued: "Charging at these proposed rates will mean that the 'premium' parking spaces along the Promenade would be slightly more expensive than the proposed charging structure within the Council’s Off-street Pay & Display Car Parks, thereby enabling the Council to better manage its on-street parking provision along the Promenade by increasing turnover and availability of space; discourage unnecessary vehicle journeys looking for free parking spaces; support critical Council services through any surplus income being redirected to support those services as allowed by legislation.

"Another outcome/benefit of charging will be to reduce the amount of commuter parking on the promenade making it more available for visitors to use and reducing pollution through reduced vehicle movements."