Opposition to increased parking charges in Machynlleth has prompted Powys County Council to defends its decision.

The option to park for one hour has been removed at long-stay car parks like the one on Maengwyn Street in the town.

The option still exists at short-stay equivalents but there are none of these in Machynlleth.

The county council’s rises motivated town resident Rod Edwards to write to the Cambrian News saying they were ‘excessive’.

He said many would no longer use the car park due to increased costs and instead would worsen congestion by parking on the high street.

He told the Cambrian News: “What is Powys County Council thinking? The recently introduced parking charges have done away with the minimum of one-hour parking, the minimum now being two hours for £2.50. What about local people who come into town for shopping a couple of times a week, and rarely stay for more than an hour?

“Has Powys (council) thought of the effect it will have on businesses in the town, and increased parking on the already congested main and side streets, to the detriment of town residents? Bring back the one-hour rate!”

In response, Cllr Jackie Charlton, Cabinet member for a greener Powys, said: “Whilst we appreciate that price rises are never welcome, this is the first time in over three years that we have increased parking charges in Powys car parks.

“As a local authority, we have been, and continue to be, under extreme pressure to deliver and manage services against difficult financial constraints, funds must be raised to maintain and support the facilities and services we provide.

“We fully accept that the cost-of-living crisis is hitting everyone right now which is why we did not increase the charges for stays over four hours or for permits, used mainly by people parking for work or residents without on-street parking facilities.

“Whilst the option to park for just one-hour has been removed from our long-stay car parks, this option is still available within the county’s short-stay car parks for a £1.40 fee.

“However, by encouraging residents and visitors to park in our towns for longer, we anticipate more activity on the high street, with shoppers inclined to make the most of their visit.”

After being presented with the views of his constituent Mr Edwards and the council’s defence, Machynlleth county councillor Michael Williams said: “While I do understand councillor Charlton’s views, I would urge the county council to reintroduce the one hour stay at an appropriate time.

“Undoubtedly one hour was very helpful for people who had no need to stay for longer.

“Reintroducing it at a more appropriate time would accommodate all the different needs of residents and I would support that.”

Cllr Williams said the one-hour option should be reinstated as soon as possible or when finances aren’t so tight - and pointed out that there must be opposition from other places without short-stay car parks.