A councillor has called for 30-minute charges to be reintroduced at the city’s car parks.

Tory councillor Stephen Hodgson has called on Worcester City Council to bring back half-hour rates for parking in Worcester – less than six months after they were scrapped.

Half-hour charges were scrapped altogether when parking fees at city council-owned car parks went up for the first time in 14 years in April – forcing drivers to pay for an hour.

Cllr Hodgson, who represents Warndon Parish North, will use next week’s full council meeting in the Guildhall to make the call for the charge to be restored.

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“Regretfully the 30-minute short stay fee was removed meaning users were forced to pay for an hour even if they didn’t to spend that length of time,” his motion will say.

“At a typical car park, the use of a parking space for half an hour effectively went up from 60p to £1.50, an inflation-busting increase of 150 per cent, albeit with the additional 30 minutes included.

“When the new charges were introduced car park users were exasperated by these new tariffs.

Cllr Hodgson said councillors should look at reintroducing the 30-minute fee “as soon as possible” to “help those who just need to make a brief visit in the city centre.”

The price of parking in council-owned car parks had not moved since 2009, despite rising costs and inflation, and free parking had been offered during the run-up to Christmas for several years.

The across-the-board increases meant drivers faced a rise in charges of up to 25 per cent – or 60p – for parking two hours at the city’s busiest car parks.

The council believed that increased charges could raise around £350,000 extra a year.

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Council bosses said that the price of running its 14 car parks had risen by almost eight per cent since 2021 and the money it brought in from charges – which was the council’s single biggest source of income and generates around £3 million a year – needed to rise so that it “at least kept pace with costs.”

The fee increase proved to be a contentious issue when it came to setting this year’s council budget with then Tory and council leader Chris Mitchell angered by the proposed rise.

This led to the Conservatives voting against the council’s own budget, but it was nevertheless still passed with the support from Labour, the Greens and the Lib Dems.