PEOPLE parking all day on Nelson’s town centre car parks will have to pay a pound shortly.
But shoppers will still be able to park free in the centre for two and a half hours, using discs.
The move fits in with the redevelopment of the town centre, which will be completed in around six weeks.
Members of Pendle Council’s Nelson Committee agreed to go ahead with all-day parking fees at their meeting on Monday.
They have also agreed to keep the new Palace Car Park as a short-stay parking area, and to make part of the Goitside Car Park a place where businesses at the ACE Centre can park. Other parts of it will be a long-stay pay area.
The committee also noted that negotiations are continuing with the owners of Pendle Rise Shopping Centre to use the former bus station under the multi-storey car park as another long-stay parking provision.
The five long-stay car parks will be Cuba Street, Chapel Street, Rigby Street, Sagar Street and the multi-storey car park.
Coun. David Whalley said: “I’m glad the ruling has been changed. I work in Nelson Centre, shop in Nelson and go to Nelson Library. The ACE Centre was given parking at the Palace Car Park - I think that’s too far away!”
Coun. Mohammed Iqbal added: “It’s quite an interesting subject.” He proposed that part of Goitside Car Park should be used as a base for the ACE Centre’s business staff and said: “We all want the ACE Centre to be a success.”
And he added: “We feel that the Palace Car Park is welcomed by people in the town centre. We should keep it as a two and a half hour car park.”
He felt people should be charged for full day use on the Goitside Car Park and concluded: “People would be prepared to pay £1 to park all day. People are happy to pay that.” He therefore moved the recommendation with his changes, including the long-stay charge.
Nelson Town Centre Partnership spokesman Mr Nicholas Emery warned: “You will find people aren’t prepared to pay and will then park on back streets and things. Why risk this?”
But Coun. Iqbal said that being able to park free cost taxpayers a lot of money. “I think people would be prepared to pay £5 a week to park all day.” He felt it should be looked at in 12 months’ time. “I think we need to test the water to see how it is,” he concluded.
The council’s executive director (regeneration), Mr Brian Cookson, said providing long-stay parking would stop town centre workers blocking up the car parks for shoppers.
BNP councillor Brian Parker said: “I can’t support the idea of charging for parking in Nelson. You’ve got to support shopkeepers.”
However, members agreed to go ahead with long-stay parking.