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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 March 2006, 12:40 GMT
Row over free parking plan
Porthmadog High Street
Councillors say they will not give up the High Street parking campaign
Town councillors are angry at what they claim is lack of support for their plan to provide free car parking at one end of the high street in Porthmadog.

Free parking is available at a supermarket on one side of town already and councillors feel small shops at the other end are suffering.

The town's plans are blocked by Gwynedd council, which said "in principle" all council-owned parking was fee-paying.

But it added that the situation would be reviewed soon to ensure consistency.

Town councillors say they will not give up their campaign.

"This is something I have been fighting for over the past nine years, but county officials are simply ignoring the issue," said councillor Alwyn Gruffydd.

As town councillors we don't come to our month meetings for fun, we come here to ensure fair play
Alwyn Gruffydd, town councillor

The town council's vice-chairman Jean Edwards said: "The fact that Tesco are allowing two hours free parking in their carpark may support shops at that end of town, but not the ones at the other end."

Gwynedd council's parking manager, Colin Jones, said the principle throughout the county was for all car parking to be paid for, although the price did vary.

Country-wide review

"There will be a county-wide review of the situation soon to ensure consistency both in Gwynedd and with neighbouring councils," he said.

Mr Jones added that every council-run car park needs to produce an income to pay for upkeep and repairs.

"If car parks were not kept up to a certain standard it's possible motorists would make less use of them," he said.

The council's arguments are not accepted by town councillors who feel the interests of local people are not being taken into consideration.

"Gwynedd officials need to realise that as town councillors we don't come to our month meetings for fun, we come here to ensure fair play for the town and those who live, work and do their shopping here," said Mr Gruffydd.

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