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Last Updated: Monday, 23 February, 2004, 13:44 GMT
Town parking charges begin
Parking charges
Traders say the charges will affect business
Controversial car parking charges have been introduced in four Carmarthenshire towns.

Despite a campaign by traders which was backed by a 3,000 signature petition, motorists will now have to pay to use council-run car parks for the first time.

Carmarthenshire Council says the money is needed for running costs and improved facilities at Ammanford, Llandeilo, Llandovery and Newcastle Emlyn.

But some councillors also say it is unfair that people in Llanelli and Carmarthen already have to pay while those in other towns in the county do not.

Charges of 20p for up to four hours and a 40p all-day rate will now be imposed on motorists.

Regular car parkers will be able to get discounted season tickets at 16 a quarter, 30 for six months or 56 a year.

It is important that the county council provides good, secure car parks
Councillor Pam Palmer

Ammanford Chamber of Trade claimed 80% of people it had surveyed said they would not visit as often when the charges came into force.

A spokeswoman said: "If 20% stand by what they said we would be in trouble.

"The council has not listened to us and just made out that we are being awkward.

"That is not true. We have been designated a regeneration area and all we are asking is that the charges are delayed until the town starts to pick-up."

But Carmarthenshire's executive board member for environment Pam Palmer said the charges would help towards the expenditure needed to maintain and improve the car parks.

"It is important that the county council provides good, secure car parks. It is something people have told us they want," she said.

Parking charges fight lost
15 Sep 03  |  South West Wales

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