Aberystwyth is “getting it in the neck again”, a councillor has said, as members of a scrutiny committee plead with Ceredigion County Council to scrap plans to charge for parking on Aberystwyth promenade.

Members of the council’s Thriving Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, 11 July heard that the council wants charging to be introduced along the length of New Promenade from Castle Point to Constitution Hill between 8am and 8pm seven days a week to “deter commuters” and “ensure parking space turnover” despite vehement opposition from residents and businesses.

The proposed rates are £3.50 for two hours, and £5 for four hours.

The changes will see 179 car parking spaces become chargeable along the promenade.

Currently, motorists can park on the promenade for between two and four hours for free.

The scheme is earmarked to raise £400,000 for council coffers this year, despite not having yet got the go ahead nor gone out to public consultation.

The council’s own report into the plans warned there would be “considerable opposition” from residents and business owners and could discourage visitors.

Penparcau county councillor Shelley Childs told members: “People have just had a council tax increase.

“It doesn’t matter how much it [the parking] costs.

“It’s another fee and people are up in arms over this.

“Businesses in Aberystwyth already pay higher rates than elsewhere.

“It feels like Aberystwyth is getting in the neck again unfortunately.”

Cllr Wyn Evans told members: “I understand the feelings on this and have been lobbied pretty hard.

“I don’t support this, and won’t support this.”

Cllr Meirion Davies agreed that he would not support the move and said it “would frighten people away” from the town.

Cllr Carl Worrall said: “This is a tax on Aberystwyth and those who live and work in the area.

“It feels like it is being forced through.

“Aberystwyth is treated as a cash cow, but now there’s not much milk left.”

Cabinet member Alun Williams told members that Aberystwyth is “unusual” for a town of its size not charging for parking on the promenade

The changes were first mooted in 2014 with a report by Capita developed in 2016 used for the basis of the move.

Committee members called for a more up to date survey to be undertaken as “much has changed” in Aberystwyth in the last eight years.

The changes will be subject to a public consultation.