Parking prices at Eagles Meadow car park are set to increase by 61% next month to £5 for two hours.
Last week traders at the shopping centre were told that parking at the Vinci car park beneath Eagles Meadow was set to increase, with the price of a two hour stay set to rise to £5 from £3.10.
The ‘proposed’ rate change was stated on a document circulated that appears to be produced earlier in the year, also detailing the July rises when prices for two hours went from £2.50 to £3.10.
Prices are ‘proposed’ to rise from November 1st to:
- 0-2hrs will cost £5
- 2 hours to 3hours £7
- 3 to 4 hours £9
- Over 4 hours £14
One silver lining, of good news that is not the pockets of Vinci, is that the evening rate is ‘to be scrapped’. UPDATE: This point has been clarified that the evening rate will not be ‘scrapped’ to £0, however the evening rate will follow the above ‘day’ rate…!
We spoke with Eagles Meadow Manager Kevin Critchley who was keen to explain parking pricing is not down to Eagles Meadow but Vinci Park Services via a separate lease (not a contract from Eagles Meadow).
Mr Critchley explained: “Vinci have a lease and don’t manage the car park on behalf of Eagles Meadow. As much as we can’t tell Starbucks what to charge for coffee we can’t tell them how much to charge for parking”
He went on to described the older £2.50 charge as ‘relativity high’ and said the July change to £3.10 led him to believe the car park use was ‘drastically reduced’ but revealed ‘Vinci no longer give us the figures’.
Mr Critchley went on to explain Eagles Meadow have ‘no facts’ but ‘we have eyes and whereas years ago there was no spaces now there are lots of spaces’, a view commonly shared around town.
Feedback has apparently been given to Vinci, the ‘owners’ of Eagles Meadow development and the relevant agents however with not much joy with pricing decisions being taken outside of Wrexham rather than at a local level.
Wrexham.com have also contacted Vinci for comment on Friday, with nothing forthcoming as of yet.
Querying the figures issued by Eagles Meadow PR that around 50% of 3,000,000 visitors in 2012 also entered the town centre, and therefore parking changes impacting such numbers, we were told by Eagles Meadow: “What our figures suggest is the generation of the visitors to the town centre is not more than 10% of the total visitors to the car parks”. Again, due to the lack of data provided this is a rough calculation based off the Eagles Meadow counters.”
For those with season ticket style passes for parking we are told it is likely to increase to £40 per month.
The increase of parking comes at a time when the overall cost of town centre parking is under scrutiny by both town centre traders and shoppers, with many demanding that more is done to encourage shoppers back into Wrexham Town Centre.
At last Tuesday’s Town Centre Forum meeting there were calls for changes to be made to the cost of Council run car parks, with Nigel Lewis requesting that a separate group was established away from the Forum to specifically discuss town centre parking.
During the Town Centre Forum meeting there were jokes that Vinci’s increase in car parking has helped raise the occupancy rate at Council run car parks, while another trader branded parking at Eagles Meadow as ‘totally unaffordable’ – all prior to the news at the tail end of last week of the latest increases.
(As a Town Centre Forum aside – Mr Critchley is the current Chairman and is looking to stand down after a few years in post. As an avid Wrexham.com Forum reader, he said: “If there is anyone out there , such as Mr Rondetto and others, who wish to put their head over the proverbial parapet and put themselves forward as chair please be my guest.”)