Chesterfield drivers say changes to parking in the town leave a lot to be desired.
Sweeping changes have been introduced, meaning it costs a flat rate of £3 for three hours’ parking at all the car parks run by Chesterfield Borough Council.
Council bosses say they are aiming to reduce the confusion over parking prices while at the same time increasing footfall in the town centre.
It previously cost between £3.30 and £3.90 to park for three hours, depending on the car park.
Most car parks will also see reductions in the cost of parking for four hours with a new standard rate of £4.30 replacing charges that varied between £4.30 and £5.20.
However, when the Derbyshire Times spoke to residents and shoppers in various car parks across the town centre, many were less than impressed with the overall state of parking in the town.
John Dawson, 67, slammed the borough council’s suggestion that the new charges will simplify parking.
He said: “It’s diabolical in town and also up at the hospital. It’s disgusting, especially when you’re a pensioner. It’s a load of rubbish that they will simplify it.”
Matthew Roe, 30, said the confusing system and price put him off going into the town centre.
“It needs to be simple,” he said. “You’d think you’d be able to get more out of it. The charge of parking definitely puts me off coming into town.”
Marcus Hearn, 22, was making a rare trip into Chesterfield centre when he parked up at the Spa Lane car park.
“If I go to town I will try to use the short stay car parks,” he said. “£2.60 for up to two hours is pretty steep.”
Tracy Howse, 43, said that she takes advantage of the free parking - before 10am and after 3pm from Monday to Saturday - for borough residents.
However, she believes itshould be rolled further to attract even more people into town.
Tracy added: “I do think it is a bit pricey but I’m from the borough so I get the free parking, which I tend to use in the morning and then after 3pm.
“It might encourage people to use town more. My mum is from North Wingfield so she doesn’t get the free parking.”
Frank Donohue, 44, was on a quick visit to the town from Manchester when he was forced to stump up 50p for a minimum of 30 minutes’ parking.
He said: “I paid 50p for literally five minutes. Parking in Manchester is ridiculous but I think £3 for three hours’ parking is still alot of money.”
John Fern, spokesman for Chesterfield Borough Council, said the new pricing plan aimsedto simplify the charges across the car parks they own.
He said: “Previously the council had four different pricing structures across the 18 car parks we run.This has now been replaced by one standard set of charges for motorists staying for up to four hours.
“Anyone who wants to park for more than four hours can do so for a fixed rate of £5 in the 14 long stay car parks. In the four short stay car parks each additional hour will cost £1.30.”