Parking to stay free for church-goers after vicar complains

By Steve Carpenter Tuesday 06 November 2012 Updated: 09/11 12:01

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A VICAR who slammed plans to introduce parking meters outside one of the city’s most historic churches has welcomed the changes to the scheme.

The Observer reported back in July how Reverend Paul Such and his congregation at St John the Baptist Church would be put off from attending services and other functions if they had to pay to park.

But after meeting council representatives it has been agreed parking will remain free on Sundays and some parking permits will be made available to keep the church open to visitors during the week.

"These concessions are warmly welcomed,” said Mr Such.

"The parish did make representation to the council as to the considerable difficulties this development would make upon the church as regards it being open to visitors, the use of our hall for community events and of course, the daily worshipping life of the church."

Parking charges were introduced on medieval Spon Street at the end of October following months of claims by traders that shoppers and workers had been exploiting a loophole and parking there all day for free.

Stays are now limited to four hours.

Despite Sunday being free, Mr Such was still worried the effect of the £1 an hour meters.

"They will have an impact upon those wishing to use the church hall for community events and those attending our daily worship services," he added.

"It is to be hoped the council will continue to monitor the situation and reassess the situation in order to answer any continuing problems."

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