Shoppers and traders have hit out at price hikes at council-run town centre car parks that they fear will drive business away from the borough.
Prices at the New Market Car Park near Doncaster Market have soared from £1.60 to £2 for two hours or more.
The hike is amongst a raft of new charges brought in by Doncaster Council that came into effect on September 1.
Fish market trader Nigel Berry said: “It’s completely the wrong time to be bringing in price increases. We want things that are going to bring customers into the market not drive them away.
“The parking charges at Chappell Drive have been halved though so we are hoping people might just choose to park there instead.”
Market trader Mick Maye added: “We want people coming into Doncaster and using the market not being driven away by expensive car parking prices.
“I think people will always continue to use the market though.There are deals on private car parks so it may be a case of people looking at other parking options.”
A concerned resident who did not want to be named said: “The council spend all this money improving the market and extending it and then go and put the car parking prices up. The council claim they are in support of the market but it doesn’t feel like it.”
Other price hikes include the Council House Car Park that has increased from £2.90 to £4 on a Saturday.
To park in Scarborough House Car Park for over four hours will now cost £4 instead of £2.90, St George’s Car Park has increased from £1.60 to £2 for two hours and from £1.90 to £2.50 for three hours.
Meanwhile prices at Chappell Drive, which is only 100 yards walk from the market, have been slashed and motorists can pay the equivalent of 25p an hour and regular users of the car park, a six day parking permit which did cost £700 per year, can now be purchased at £372 per year.
Peter Dale, Director of Regeneration and Environment, said: “Although some charges have increased in the heart of the town centre, they are still lower than private sector parking within the centre including the markets area. The charges will help pay for maintenance and improvements to our car parks to benefit residents. We have been mindful not to increase all charges, and shoppers will see reductions in charges in alternative car parks located very close to the market.” www.doncaster.gov.uk/sections/transportstreetsandparking/parkingandenforcement/Car_Parking_in_Doncaster.aspx