THE increasing cost of parking in Cardigan – especially for short stays – is ‘not fair’ compared to other towns in Ceredigion.

Cardigan Town Council recently wrote to Ceredigion County Council to highlight its concerns after it was revealed that Ceredigion made more than £314,000 from parking charges in the town for 2018-19.

In reply, Ceredigion officials argued that the amount of money raised was “proportionate to the number of spaces available” and that for long-stay car parking, Cardigan was cheaper than other major towns such as Aberystwyth, while free street parking for a limited time was also available.

But town councillors argued that there were places in Aberystwyth where it was possible to park for free for up to three hours in the town centre and that like-for-like, the comparisons were not fair.

“Yes, we do have ‘free’ parking for the supermarkets further out at the top of town but that does not help those in the town centre,” argued Cardigan mayor Cllr Shan Williams.

“Parking charges do have an effect on the town.”

Cllr Clive Davies said: “We are on the boundary with Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire and are very much at a disadvantage when compared to their parking charges, which are much cheaper.

“What are they looking at when they decide on differential charges? I still don’t think it’s fair.

“As for street parking, there are not that many places.”

Cllr Steffan Morgan said that street parking was not adequately enforced, while Cllr Debra Griffiths said that many motorists used Cardigan Hospital car park to avoid paying.

"It's always full and not fair on those who need to use the hospital," she said.

Cllr Catrin Miles said the issue kept cropping up every year and that charges in Cardigan should be frozen until all other towns in the county were at the same level, rather than being routinely increased year-on-year.

Cllr Sian Maehrlein asked: “How much profit do they make from people not having the correct change?”

The town council is to write to Ceredigion to ask how much it charges for short-term parking in every town.