Published: 12:00, 16 July 2017
A shopping centre has told people it will be re-instating its old parking charges after a furore erupted over massive price hikes.
On Monday new rates at the multi-storey car park on Fairmeadow were introduced. The costs are different rates depending on what day people park, but the steepest is on Fridays and Saturdays where people faced paying a minimum of £3.50 to park for half an hour.
Previously this was £3 for two hours. The car park is run by Indigo Park Services UK Limited.
For up to three hours, the charge is £8 whereas before parking for up to four hours was £5. Anything over four hours now has a £10 flat fee.
Yesterday Fremlin Walk announced its previous prices would be re-instated today while a long-term solution to the issue was found.
A spokesman for Indigo earlier told the Kent Messenger: “Our cost base has recently increased significantly at the Fremlin Walk Shopping Centre. Most notable of these rises relate to rent and business rates; they are unsustainable without an increase in tariff.
“We would like to reassure customers we have made every effort to keep these increases as modest as possible, and we thank them for their understanding.
“We will continue to run the car park safely and securely to the high standards that customers expect.”
Indigo’s business rates, which are set by central government, rose substantially from £215,000 to £780,000 in April this year.
Lloyd Wright, centre manager at Fremlin Walk, said: “Indigo Park Services has recently reviewed and restructured its car parking tariffs. The centre is not involved in the setting of these tariffs.
"We will be liaising with Indigo to ensure our offering remains accessible, and not onerous on our tenants and customers.”
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