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Crackdown on lorries parking near Worcester's riverside
LORRIES are facing a 400 per cent rise to park up near Worcester city centre - in a bid to improve the appeal of the riverside.
Worcester City Council says it wants to boost the attractiveness of the riverside further by discouraging large goods vehicles from Croft Road car park.
Years before millions of pounds went into sprucing up the city's jewel in the crown, lorries have been paying £5 to use a row of dedicated spaces at the site.
It has also become increasingly popular with coaches, adding to pollution in the city and effectively turning Croft Road into a huge turning-circle for massive vehicles.
The £5 lorry charge will now increase to £25 from April, with the council's leadership saying it wants to use the levy as a "deterrent".
The view for customers at Cafe Severn, the eatery opposite Croft Road car park, is often one of lorries coming in and out the site daily.
The coach fee is also going up, but from £5 to £10, with the council saying Croft Road valuable facility for coaches bringing in tourists and the rise should be lower.
Some critics say it will push lorries out into residential areas, but the Labour leadership says the aim is to help the riverside.
Fresh talks will also take place with Worcestershire County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership about creating a dedicated 'lorry park' elsewhere, well away from the riverside.
Councillor Adrian Gregson, the leader, said: "Trucks bring in pollution to a far greater extent than cars do.
"It's not great for that riverside area, and the turning point in Croft Road is not conducive to lorry parking.
"If we wanted to stop lorries using it completely we'd ban them from it - we're not saying that, but this is something we've wanted to do something about for a while and we realise there's an element of deterrent to this."
Rival politicians say the policy is wrong, but it is expected to be finalised later this month as part of the 2014/15 budget.
Councillor Roger Knight, a former cabinet member for the environment, said: "It's all very well saying good things about the riverside but we don't seem to have a plan, we're bunging up the charges to make a few quid.
"All it will do is increase lorry parking in other areas."
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