CUTS in car parking charges across Worcester have paid off - with income surging by nearly £100,000.

Your Worcester News can reveal how the city council, which decided to dramatically slash prices last year to boost the High Street, is celebrating after the strategy paid off.

The low rates, which include parking for £1 after 7pm and just 40p for 30 minutes at selected sites, have resulted in:

- More than £99,000 extra income being collected, year-on-year, from April last year to the end of January

- An average of around 7,500 tickets being issued per month for the re-introduced 30-minute tariff, meaning it's been used a staggering 45,000 times since it returned last July

- All council owned car parks have seen higher rates of income apart from Croft Road, which overlooks the riverside

The results are being seen as a victory for the Conservative leadership, which decided to cut the rates down to the old, reduced prices last year after wrestling back control of the council from the Labour group.

Last year the authority raked in around £2.6 million from its car parks, making it a major source of revenue.

Councillor Marc Bayliss, deputy leader and cabinet member for economic prosperity, said: "Although some of the data is commercially sensitive we look at it on an income-per-space level as well, and that is up too.

"This proves what I have said all along, that if you cut car parking charges in Worcester more people take advantage of it.

"It's the laws of supply and demand, Labour thought you've got to put prices up to get more money in but this shows quite the opposite."

The news has been welcomed by Worcester's Business Improvement District (BID), which represents city traders.

Adrian Field, from the BID, said: "At the end of the day businesses want parking as cheap as possible, it can never free though as the revenue helps keep things like our council tax down, for example.

"I am glad the 30-minute tariff is working, it's very good for people who need to drop off library books or go to the bank.

"The perception is that Worcester is expensive because people might compare it to Droitwich or Pershore, for example but you've got to compare like-for-like, if you look at Cheltenham or Solihull it's pretty good - you can get parking for £3.50 all day here."

Labour Councillor Geoff Williams, the former deputy leader, said he'd need to look at the data in detail before making any observations.

When it was in control the party ditched the 30-minute tariff, mainly due to concerns it was increasing congestion and was not popular enough to continue with.

The previous, higher prices were in place until July last year.

"You can interpret a lot of things with statistics," said Cllr Williams.