PARKING charges are to rise in a number of South Lakes car parks.

Town centre parking will be hit first, with outer town carpark's getting away with any immediate increase.

Councillor's at South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) voted in the increase, which they hope will improve town centre use, rather than discourage it.

Councillor Philip Dixon, who represents Kendal Town ward, thinks people will always get in an uproar over parking charges.

He said: “Cheap parking does not energise town centres, so we are happy to suggest a modest increase for the town centre car parks.

"Let’s remember, they have not been increased in 10 years."

Parking at SLDC owned car parks will see both the one hour and two-hour tariffs rise in the locations it owns outside of the Lake District National Park.

These will go up at the start of the next financial year by nearly a quarter from; £1.20 to £1.50 for one hour and £2.20 to £2.50 for two hours.

However, some of Ulverston's carparks could get away without the increase, after they secured a deal last year to freeze parking charges.

Cllr Mark Wilson, who represents Ulverston East, thinks the town's way is better than the district's way for charging.

He said: "We at the town council, have pioneered reduced rates for pop in shoppers.

"20 pence an hour at Stockbridge Lane, 50 pence an hour at Fountain Street and Brewery Street. This is in conjunction with the Business Improvement District (BID).

"I favour a mixture plus other car park users may like to take up a yearly ticket (monthly payments available), bringing the charge down considerably."

Cllr Willis, who represents South Lakeland on the county council, instigated a reduced 20p per hour charge in Stockbridge Lane last September.

She said: “Times are tough for many people so it’s right that as councillors we work with organisations like Ulverston BID to look into every possible way to help local residents.

“As we slowly come out of lockdown, we also want to be able to encourage more shoppers back into the town centre to support local jobs and businesses and hopefully this freeze in parking is one way to help to do that.”

Cllr Norman Bishop-Rowe, who represents Ulverston South, thinks its a bad move by the district council at this time.

He said: "Not a good time with local businesses being closed due to Covid but could be a bonus for the supermarkets.

"This could send the death knell for town centres."

Changes are due to come in early in April.