Councillors have approved new car parking charges for Hartlepool in a move it hopes will boost shops and businesses in the town centre.
Shoppers will be charged a short-stay flat rate of £1 for up to two hours.
The new charge, approved by Hartlepool Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee, will replace the current charge of 70p for up to one hour and £1.40 for up to two hours.
It follows a review of charges by the council and it is hoped the new charge will encourage shoppers to stay longer in the town centre, including the Middleton Grange shopping centre, and boost trade.
A further report was requested early in the New Year on free parking after 4pm initiative in the basement, multi-storey and former M&S car parks.
The committee wants to look at the financial implications of extending this to include the Waldon Street car park and whether it could introduce a free after 3pm scheme at the shopping centre car parks.
The committee also agreed to introduce new charge of £1 for up to two hours in Seaton Carew’s Newburn Bridge, Rocket House and the old fairground car parks at between April 1 and October 31 from next year.
But councillors decided against introducing charges on the Headland saying it was not feasible.
The new charges will be reviewed by the council next October.
It was proposed to use the income generated by the charges at Seaton and the Headland to fund Hartlepool’s lifeguard service.
But the committee referred the issue back to Finance and Policy as part of the overall budget recommendations to be presented to Full Council.