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Indigo Park Services UK Limited hike prices for Fremlin Walk's car park

The company running one of Maidstone's biggest car parks today more than doubled charges for customers at peak times.

The price hike will see visitors shell out £3.50 for a stay of 30 minutes or more at the Fremlin Walk multi-storey each Friday and Saturday, or 12 pence per minute.

Hertfordshire based Indigo Park Services UK Limited, which recorded a gross profit of just under £2.5 million in 2016, said the move is down to an unsustainable increase in rent and business rates at the 760 space site off Fairmeadow.

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Fremlin Walk Car Park in Fairmeadow, Maidstone
Fremlin Walk Car Park in Fairmeadow, Maidstone

Nigel Hamilton, 56, was unaware the new charges had come into force until he came to pay for his three-hour ticket and was shocked to find the price had risen by half to £6.

The architectural photographer from Bearsted said: "We expect an incremental rise from time to time but not of that sort of rate or scale."

The complex new system means there are three different tariffs depending on when people visit.

Video: Shoppers react to car park price hike

Worst hit will be visitors coming for a short time with an half hour stay costing an eye watering £3.50 on Friday and Saturday. Previously this was £3 for two hours.

For up to three hours, the charge is £8. Previously the car park offered parking for up to four hours for £5.

However, charges for long term visitors won't change significantly- those staying longer than four hours will pay £10 whatever day they visit.

There is a flat charge of £3 from 7pm to 11.30pm.

The new charges
The new charges

As well as Fremlin Walk, which Indigo acquired in 2010, the company has a number of shopping centre car car parks in the UK, including Mayfair in London. It also runs services for local authorities an other organisations.

A spokesman said: ”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 that 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."

What do you think of the changes? Email dgazet@thekmgroup.co.uk

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