COUNCILLORS and traders in Mexborough are set to fight controversial plans to charge motorists for using the town’s multi-storey car park.
Peter Davies, Mayor of Doncaster, wants to charge drivers an hourly rate to park at the site which has been free for more than 30 years.
Market traders may organise a petition in an attempt to stop the proposal, which they believe will price shoppers out of town.
The scheme has also sparked protests from Mexborough councillors who objected to the plan at Doncaster Council’s overview and scrutiny management committee meeting last week.
Phil Toone, 60, chairman of the Mexborough Branch of the National Market Traders’ Federation, said: “We fear people will just refuse to pay. I will put the idea of a petition to the other traders at our next meeting.”
The charges are included in Mr Davies’ draft budget proposal for the coming financial year. The authority hopes to generate incomes of £50,000 in 2013/14 and £210,000 for the years following. The charges are set at 50p for one hour, £1 for two hours and £2 all day.
But Mexborough councillors are hopeful of negotiating a deal with Mr Davies for free parking for the first couple of hours.
Coun David Holland said: “Public meetings which we have held have generally welcomed the idea of creating a shoppers’ car park with the first three hours free and a charge thereafter, provided the income was used to make much needed improvements.”
Coun Phillips added: “Introducing charges without first making improvements is putting the cart before the horse.”
Mr Davies, was unavailable for comment this week but has previously described the charges as “perfectly reasonable.”
The budget proposal is due for approval at full council meeting on February 21.