Frustrated visitors are increasingly fighting back against excessive car park charges in Windsor say angry traders.
The claim was made at yesterday's meeting of Windsor District Chamber of Commerce.
Maria Vattochi from La Taverna restaurant in the town said: "At 6.50pm a queue builds up at the River Street parking machines as people wait for it to reach 7pm. Then they only have to pay for two hours instead of three before charging stops at 9pm."
Estate agent Anthony Edwards, who is now joint president of the Chamber said: "Why should we be penalised in Windsor by having to pay more to park than in Maidenhead. We are all part of the Royal Borough."
But Cllr Phill Bicknell (Con, Park) who is the Royal Borough cabinet member for roads, said: "Maidenhead does not have a castle and millions of visitors a year. The reason Windsor is a thriving town is because so many people want to be there and that means there are not enough car parking spaces. Market forces do play a part.
"But I would point out that there is free parking on single yellow lines after 6pm. I am happy to sit down with anyone and discuss their concerns about parking charges."
He hinted that he did share some of the traders' concerns, saying: "There are differences in parking tariffs in different areas of the borough that have evolved over a lot of years. I have asked our parking team to look at ways of harmonising them.
"There are too many variants for it to be done quickly, it has taken 20 years to get where it is today. It will take time to get it back on track."
In Windsor visitors who do not have Advantage Cards pay £1.50 to park for up to an hour at Victoria Street, £2.50 for two hours. In River Street it costs £3.50 for up to an hour, increasing to £5 for two - while Alexandra Gardens and Alma Road car park charges are £1 for an hour, or £2 for two.
In Maidenhead, the Nicholsons car park only charges £1 for up to an hour, £2 for two hours. West Street is £1 for an hour or £1.50 for two, Hines Meadow £1 or £1.80.
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