IDEAS for shaking up car parking in Ceredigion include standardising charging and introducing pay and display to permit-only sites - which would include the Pendre car park in Cardigan

Corporate manager Gerwyn Jones put forward five proposals to the thriving communities overview and scrutiny committee to get their view before any detailed investigation or proposal development takes place.

At the meeting on October 10, Mr Jones said there were five options which the committee was being asked if, in principle, were suitable for further development.

It includes simplifying the season ticket offering, removing the option to buy weekly tickets, which is not widely used,  changing fees and charges on a three-yearly cycle rather than a yearly basis to save potentially £15,000 and standardise the cost of parking across the county.

This would leave potential to transfer management of pay and display car parks at Llandysul and Tregaron, a report, adds, which Cllr Keith Evans said was a concern at it had previously been agreed that prices be kept low there.

“Llandysul and Tregaron’s economies have suffered more than other towns and it had been agreed at cabinet not to charge at these car parks,” he said.

Another plan, which was subject to an informal consultation in 2017, is to change Cardigan’s Pendre car park from permit holders to pay and display.

There had been 10 objections from permit holders but “in the view of parking services, it would be better utilised as a short stay pay and display car park,” a report to committee states.

Cardigan Traders chairman Martin Radley said: "All we are asking for in Cardigan in terms of parking is a level playing field.

"We are having to compete with neighbouring counties where they get free parking, while prices in Cardigan just keep on rising.

"We have written to Ceredigion County Council asking for extra days free parking in the run-up to Christmas and are awaiting a response.

"If they turn the Pendre site into a short stay car park, how will they monitor it? Will they introduce modern technology to police it or will it be just a free-for-all?"

Car parks in Cardigan raised more than £300,000 for the county council in 2018/19 – a third of the total for the entire county.

An overall total of £944,824.50 was generated by Ceredigion County Council’s public car parks - of which Cardigan drivers coughed up £314,907.57.

The town council has strongly criticised the county council's parking policy, arguing that Cardigan is paying a disproportionate amount.