Car parking price freeze announced

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A price freeze on car parking charges has been announced by Borough Hall chiefs this week.

This is the third year running that Bedford Borough Council has frozen the hourly rate in their car parks which range from 70p to £1.10 per hour.

Councillor Charles Royden, portfolio holder for environment and transport at the council, claimed this week that the move is great news, and the best that can be done for shoppers in the current economic climate.

He said: “As a council we are keeping car parking charges at historic lows and bearing the brunt of VAT increases.

“If we were to cut car parking charges we would then have to decide where we were going to save that money on services in the rest of the borough.

“If we made that decision as a result we might not be able to help as many vulnerable children and adults. We are making £36million in cuts already, and how do you get rid of a quarter of the budget without affecting services?

“I think we have done remarkably well without affecting frontline services.”

And Mr Royden hit out at those who have criticised the council’s stance on car parking in the borough.

He said: “The people who put the car parking charges up in the first place are criticising us now.

“We have tried to make sure that people are being protected from the worst of the cuts that are affecting the rest of the country.”