By Tim Clarke Thursday 29 November 2012 Updated: 29/11 11:08
MOTORISTS are set for a New Year boost after councillors unanimously backed moves to slash car parking charges across the city council's car parks.
Councillors gave the green light to a raft of changes from January which include the introduction of new 30 minute daytime tariffs of 40p and 60p in a number of car parks, as well as cutting evening charges to just £1 from 7pm onwards.
All-day parking at St Martin's Gate multi-storey will also be slashed from £6 to £3.60 as part of an effort to attract more long stay visitors and deter people from leaving their car in already congested residential streets.
Speaking at Tuesday's (November 27) full council, deputy leader Coun Marc Bayliss said: "I think it is the right thing to do at the right time. This is a move which is widely supported including the business community and is also affordable."
Labour members were defeated in their efforts to pass an amendment which would have included keeping the cost of 24 hour parking at St Martin's Gate at £6 but making the first hour free with small reductions for the second, third and fourth hour.
Coun Paul Denham (Lab/Rainbow Hill), who tabled the motion, said many national car park organisations had successfully used the marketing tactic of offering an hour's free parking.
"The evidence from the consultants shows most people park in Worcester car parks for no more than two hours so the greatest need is to encourage those people to park for maybe three or four hours," he added.
"If they stay longer they will be spending more money in the city and helping the economy."
Council leader Coun Simon Geraghty said he agreed the city needed more free parking but this should be pursued through finding more on-street 45 minute bays.
"As the county member for the city centre I will be lobbying for more of these 45 minute bays in Worcester," he added.
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