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End of over 65s parking permits and new charges for Stratford's Fisherman's car park

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DISCOUNTED parking permits for the over 65s are to be removed as part of a raft of changes to parking in the Stratford district.

The decision was confirmed on Monday by Stratford District Council’s cabinet.

As well as removing the concessionary pass for the over 65s, councillors also agreed to:

• Introduce charging and blue badge provision at Fisherman’s car park.

• Increase the motorhome charges at Stratford Leisure Centre Coach & Lorry Park from £2 to £10 (overnight), from £10 to £20 (24 hours) and from £20 to £30 (72 hours), with a maximum stay of 72 hours and no return within 72 hours.

• Introduce two hours maximum stays at The Greig Leisure Centre Car Park, Alcester, and Shipston Leisure Centre Car Park between 7am and 6pm, to eliminate the use of the car parks by non-leisure centre users.

The council said the changes were based on the results of two public consultation exercises.

Changes will be introduced later this year.

Cllr Ian Shenton, who has the climate change portfolio at the council, said: “This has been an extensive and comprehensive consultation process and has allowed residents and interested parties the chance to shape the final recommendations.

“The survey included a free text/comments box that allowed for any further thoughts and comments to be made which were then analysed with the survey into themes.

“It is clear that the final recommendations take account of the survey and the comments and whilst no survey is perfect, and the results and conclusions drawn will not please everyone, I am, nevertheless, content that the recommendations and the subsequent approval by the cabinet is fair and equitable.”

He added: “The over 65 permits have been reducing in popularity over the last two years having fallen by approximately 40 per cent and, based on the survey, would continue to fall if we increased the charge to a level that would have been consistent with the very few authorities that even offered a permit of this type.

“My view is that removing the permit, now, is the right course of action to take due to a number of factors, but principally because it is fairer and more equitable to approximately 99 per cent of residents who either do not qualify for this permit or who have chosen not to buy it.”

“As I said earlier, this decision will not please everyone and that is regrettable but we have to make decisions based on what is fair to the majority of residents and it is clear from social media and the survey itself that this is the right decision.”

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