A CARDIGAN butcher has described Ceredigion County Council’s plans to raise parking charges next month as ‘a kick in the teeth’ for traders who have battled through much of the pandemic.

Tom Samways added that the price rise was particularly ill-timed as it would come into force just as businesses emerged from lockdown.

“As far as I’m concerned this is just another kick in the teeth, to be honest,” Mr Samways told the Tivy-Side.

“Apart from a two-week period when we were forced to close during lockdown, we’ve been here for the community right the way through this pandemic while other businesses have been closed for months.

“Ceredigion County Council just seem hell-bent on driving a lot of shoppers to out-of-town stores such as Tescos which offer free parking."

He made his comments after it emerged motorists will have to dig deeper into their pockets when the local authority hike charges from May 3.

The news will come as a particular blow to traders in Cardigan, who have persistently claimed that increased charges affect footfall in the town with their businesses suffering as a result.

“From my point of view someone planning to pop into our shop to pick up a pound of mince is just not going to pay £2 to park for a few minutes in Greenfield Square," said Mr Samways.

“But I learnt last summer that however much fuss myself or other traders kick up just won’t make any difference as far as the county council are concerned.”

Last week it emerged that a two-hour stay at Greenfield Square will rise from £1.80 to £2, while a 24-hour stay in Bath House will increase from £2.80 to £3.10.

In Fair Field and Quay Street car parks, a one hour stay will rise from £1.50 to £1.60, while at Mwldan and Gloster Row, 24-hour stays will go up to £3.10 from £2.80.

The cost of reserved spaces at Pendre, Market Lane, Lower Mwldan and Fair Field will also increase, as will long-term parking permits for HGVs and coaches.