A councillor fears plans for evening and overnight parking charges could kill off South Elmsall’s already struggling town centre.
Wakefield Council recently proposed a raft of changes to council-run parking charges while a five-week public consultation into the plans ended earlier this week.
The proposals includes extending parking charges to 24-hours a day, seven days a week, at pay and display meters for both on and off-street parking.
South Elmsall has three council-run car parks, including Exchange Street, Barnsley Road and Camelot Way, that would be affected.
But ward councillor, Steve Tulley, has warned it could be the death knell for smaller towns in the district.
He said: “They are planning to take money off a town that is already dying.
“I accept that we need to raise money, and a few quid needs to be saved here and there, but there’s got to be another way to go about it.
“We have a high street that is struggling and to do this would be a false economy.
“I know we do not pay a lot for parking but this is not encouraging people to come in.
“The market and the shopping centre is in decline and we’re trying to protect it, especially with the way people’s shopping habits have changed.
“We are not Wakefield or Pontefract, there’s a world of difference.”
All three council-run car parks in South Elmsall’s charge at a rate of 40p for an hour, 60p for two, 90p for three and £2.90 for four or more hours.
Despite the existing reasonable rates, Coun Tulley says that motorists are choosing to park elsewhere, often illegally.
Coun Matthew Morley, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, said: “These proposals aim to make more parking spaces available for genuine users of our leisure and parks sites across the district, and allow us to take enforcement action to tackle any issues.
“If the plans were to go ahead, any surplus income generated from the changes would be used to fund improvements for the car parks bringing benefits to local residents.
A decision from the council is expected shortly.