PLANS to reduce or freeze parking charges at Wyre Forest District Council-owned car parks will be discussed next week.

The proposals, which include cheaper parking charges for regular users and an almost halving of season ticket prices from April 2020, will be discussed by the council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, December 5 before a final decision is made by Cabinet on Tuesday, December 17.

Corporate director for economic prosperity and place, Mike Parker, said: "The current schedule of charges is complex.

"These proposals aim to simplify the structure of charges and help local residents, visitors and businesses who pay to park in the council’s car parks by reducing or freezing charges.”

If approved, the new charges would come into effect from April 6 next year, and would see a 30 per cent reduction in the cost of one hour’s parking on council car parks - down from £1.40 to £1. The charge for two hours would be frozen at £2.

There would be an increase in the charge for three hours, from £2.80 to £3, but it will be cheaper to park all day - at £5 compared to the current £6.90.

The council is also proposing a 40 per cent cut in the cost of a full season ticket - down from £703 to £400 which, for people parking every weekday, works out at less than £2 a day.

A season ticket rate of £300 for the Bromsgrove Street car park would remain the same and be reviewed after 12 months.

It is hoped these reductions will encourage more people to purchase a season ticket.

The proposals would see members of the public consulted on a number of other significant changes, including stopping the limited first hour of free parking, which is currently available only on certain car parks, extending the charging period through to 9pm, and a seasonal increase on the three hour rate to £4, and the day rate to £6 from April to October for car parks in Stourport and Bewdley.

Wyre Forest Council says this change will affect visitors mostly, as most local residents who pay to park are likely to do so for one or two hours.

The proposals would deliver a cost saving for the council, which is currently trying to plug a £2m funding gap.

There will also be a proposal to retain a simpler charging structure for two years by freezing car parking charges for 2021-22.