COUNCILLORS have scoffed at Wiltshire Council’s plans to increase car parking charges and claim that its consultation on the matter will ignore the public’s views.

A seven-week consultation began in late September, with the authority asking for feedback on its plans to review car parking charges, which could rise by 12 per cent, in the county to try and free up funds.

Trowbridge Cllr Edward Kirk and Hilperton Cllr Ernie Clark, however, have said it makes no sense to increase car parking charges as it would mean the car parks in Trowbridge that are currently less than half full would be almost empty

“I don’t think this consultation will take much notice of public opinion,” said Cllr Ernie Clark. “It seems daft to increase prices on a product that does not sell well. If I had a business hat on I would reduce the prices at Lovemead car park, for instance, to increase profits and get more people to park there. This will lead to congestion along residential streets. You cannot justify this move as car parks are underused.”

Mr Kirk, who also owns several Trowbridge businesses, said: “They should reduce car parking prices, not increase them. It is better to sell 70 oranges for £2 than 10 for £5. It is fairer to do a blanket price increase instead of targeting individual towns but this Wiltshire Council plan is not a popular one.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “The previous car parking consultation resulted in more than 5,000 responses from local people and the solution saw us actually put money into the service. We value any input on these proposals.”

The consultation ends on November 23.