FRUSTRATION has been expressed over the rising cost of residents parking schemes in Corsham.

They are being brought into line across the county.

But Corsham councillors have criticised the move because it means townspeople could see prices rise from £200 to £360 in the space of two years.

Ruth Hopkinson brought it to Corsham Town Council’s attention on Monday night.

She said: “It will lead to more problems because the residents will move to other off-street roads and park outside other people’s homes.

“It will make less sense for Wiltshire Council economically because fewer people will use it and more will find other off street parking that will cause friction with residents who then won’t be able to park outside their homes.

“There is a long stay car park that is the laughing stock of the town because it has less than 25 per cent occupancy.”

When Richard Hovey first moved to the area several years ago he paid just £20 for a permit. Now his annual cost is £200 and he could see that increase in line with the rest of Wiltshire.

Mr Hovey said: “The figure has crept up over the years and I hadn’t noticed, I just thought that all prices were going up. It wasn’t until recently that I realised that this was not just inflation. Some houses have no parking option and Corsham doesn’t have off street parking like other places.

“One decision to unify all parking measures across Wiltshire does not make sense for places like Corsham.

“The town centre has such a great mix of shops and residential and that needs to be protected for the vibrancy of the high street.”

Caroline Ross lives on Hobbs Walk and has seen the amount she pays for residents parking go from initially free in 2005 to £200 a year now.

She said: “One of the main attractions of Corsham is that it has a vibrant, working high street. This is down to its variety of independent shops, interesting history, close proximity to attractive parkland, variety of buildings and the fact that people actually live in the centre and it’s not a sterile ghost town. Surely, to maintain a beating pulse in a small town our council should be hoping to attract people to stay in the area and be trying to attract new people to the centre, and not primarily to the outskirts of the town. Putting an end to the resident parking permit isn’t considering the bigger picture.”

Wiltshire Council was approached for comment.