PARKING charges in the Cotswolds could be significantly reduced if plans by Cotswold District Council are approved.

CDC announced this afternoon that its cabinet would discuss plans to bring down parking charges across the district at a meeting on Thursday January 17.

Among the plans are a £2 all-day tariff at the Beeches Car Park in Cirencester and the introduction of 50p short stay charges at all council car parks.

The cabinet will also consider proposals to introduce a new five-hour season ticket targeted at part-time workers.

This would mean drivers who use the car parks for five hours or less a day would only pay £288 for a season ticket rather than having to shell out up to £460.

Parking charges have been a hotly-debated issue in the Cotswolds for many years.

Last year CDC prompted fury when it introduced 24-hour parking charges at Cirencester’s Brewery Car Park, a move which saw residents and opposition councillors take to the streets in protest.

Cabinet member for the environment Cllr David Fowles (Con, Hampton) said the plans were the result of public consultation by the Cirencester Parking Partnership – an organisation formed by CDC, Cirencester Town Council and the town’s chamber of commerce.

"We are conscious that some people want to pop in to their local high street for a very quick shop and the 50p half hour offer should encourage this habit while freeing up parking spaces more frequently," he said.

He added he hoped the Beeches car park would attract more users if the plans were approved.

Other plans include harmonising prices in Tetbury's Church Street and West Street car parks and to bring charges in Moreton-in-Marsh in line with other market towns in the Cotswolds, meaning some the cost of some tickets would reduce by almost half.

For reaction to the proposals see next week’s Standard.