PLANS to bring in parking charges along Aberystwyth promenade have been put forward yet again as Ceredigion County Council seeks to fill a financial void.

The Cambrian News revealed on Wednesday that a council report into next year's budget says “proposals for charging on the promenade be “brought forward as soon as is practically possible.” Plaid Cymru Ceredigion proudly proclaimed on social media following the November report that the cabinet decided not to charge for parking on Aberystwyth’s promenade, yet two months later, the plans appear again.

Reacting to the proposal, Plaid Cymru Penparcau county councillor Carl Worrall, who objected to the plans when they were first put forward last year, said he was disappointed they have re-appeared and it will cause further hardship to the people of Aberystwyth.

Aberystwyth residents Susan Evans and Gaynor Hill were against the charge, claiming the charges would encourage visitors to travel to Ceredigion’s other seaside towns where parking is free.

Prom parking
Ceredigion County Council has put plans to charge to park along the promenade back on the table (Cambrian News)

The two women said: “The parking charges along the promenade should not be brought in. If they are brought in, we will see visitors going elsewhere.

“What do they expect people to do? Park elsewhere in town and carry their bucket, spade and beach gear through town?

“Aberystwyth is a very seasonal town that strikes a good balance between students who come here over the winter, children on school trips and visitors who come here in the summer, and the elderly who come in the autumn months. If these charges are brought in they will threaten that balance, and threaten the livelihood of the people here.

“People will stop coming to Aberystwyth, they’ll go to one of Ceredigion’s other seaside towns where parking is free, like Aberaeron or Aberdyfi.”

Plaid Cymru Ceredigion
Plaid Cymru Ceredigion proclaimed in November it had decided not to charge to park on the promenade (Plaid Cymru Ceredigion)

Gaynor Hill, who moved to Aberystwyth when she was 18, and returned after spending over a decade living in Shropshire, said she has seen a big difference in the state of the town overall, mentioning how it used to be cleaner but now it’s “grubby”. She said: “This council is killing our town.”

Alison Lewis saw benefit in bringing in a change that would mean parking on the prom was less congested, but she didn’t see parking charges as the best way to change that.

She said: “There’s usually very little space to park along the prom, and having some way to reduce the amount of people parking there might be good, free parking can be abused.

“Many people who park on the prom park here so they can go to work. You can see the difference early in the morning, at 8am there are many free spaces, by 8:30 am they’re all filled.

“However, I see the impact of parking charges affecting locals more than visitors. Visitors expect to have to pay for parking. The locals, however, who would be paying for it everyday, would suffer.

Residents views from last year when the plans were first proposed

Alison’s sympathy towards locals and those who travel to Aberystwyth for work who do need somewhere to park, led her to propose another solution to the issue. She said: “The people who travel to Aberystwyth to work still need to be able to park their cars somewhere in town.

“Why doesn’t the council come to some kind of arrangement which would allow local people who come here to work to be allowed to park on the higher levels of the multi story car park next to Tesco and Marks and Spencers? Those levels are hardly full anyway as everyone parks on the ground level.”

Prom parking aberystwyth
Budget plans for 24/25 will be discussed in February (Cambrian News)

One resident, who shared Alison’s sentiment towards locals who come to Aberystwyth for work, called the decision “disgusting.” She said: “I think it’s disgusting. I feel sorry for the people who are working here.”

Nick Marshall, who was visiting Aberystwyth from New Quay to walk his dogs, said: “Just let people come and let them park. It’s the people in Aberystwyth, the shop and business owners who will suffer.

Mike Young, who lives outside Aberystwyth and drove into town, said: “I understand the motivation ,but I’d prefer if it didn’t happen. It wouldn’t stop me coming here, but it would mean I have to find somewhere else to park.”

Another resident said: “I just won’t pay it.”