CONTROVERSIAL plans to charge people to park on one of Chester’s most diverse shopping streets have been confirmed, the council says.

A draft Traffic Regulation Order has been published for the introduction of on-street parking charges on Brook Street.

The move – which also includes nearby City Road and Foregate Street – will see pay and display machines installed at the roadside.

Charging will apply between 8am and 9pm. Between 8am and 6pm there will be a charge of £1 per hour with a maximum period of waiting of two hours on City Road and one hour on Foregate Street and Brook Street.

Return will be prohibited within one hour. Between 6pm and 9pm there will be a £1 flat rate.

Council chiefs say the order is part of an action plan to “ensure parking in Chester is fit for purpose and positively contributes to the city’s economy”.

It is part of the Council’s 15-year parking strategy, designed to better manage car parking demand across the city.

A spokesman for Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) said: “Due to a lack of parking available in areas such as Brook Street, vehicles are often found parked on the pavement where yellow lines are present, which causes road safety issues. The introduction of modest parking charges will help ensure that parking places are available for those visiting the local shops, bars and restaurants.

“For added convenience, the permitted length of stay is being increased on City Road to two hours and on Foregate Street to one hour. Brook Street will remain the same because of the pressure on parking in that location.”

News that the council plans to forge ahead with on-street parking charges will not go down well with the 50 plus independent traders on Brook Street.

The Standard reported last week that the had launched a petition aimed at convincing the council to scrap its plans.

Currently shoppers can park free of charge on the street for up to an hour, allowing them plenty of time to visit the cafes, hair salons and other shops.

Business owners told this newspaper they now feared customers would refuse to pay the £1 charge and visit a supermarket instead where parking is free.

They now have until March 29 to oppose the Traffic Regulation Order.

Stewart Tattersall, who started the petition and has owned Dee Sports since 1978, said: “This will definitely put people off coming here. It will hit all of us hard.”

Fellow organiser John Kenyon, chairman of the Friends of Brook Street traders group, added: “This will have a very negative impact on what is a unique street in Chester.”

CWaC’s cabinet member for environment, Cllr Karen Shore, said yesterday: “Changes to parking charges and the introduction of length of stay restrictions will ensure everyone can park where they need to, when they need to, and altering the restrictions and introducing charging on specific roads will ensure parking is fair across the city.

“As the strategy is implemented parking in Chester will be easier and more accessible for everyone - we are supporting residents, businesses and the visitor economy.”

Full details and a plan showing the extent of the proposals can be viewed at the Council Offices, Ground Floor Reception, The Forum, Chester between the hours of 9am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

The draft TRO can also be viewed online at the following link:

The council says objections and other representations relating to the Order must be made in writing by March 29 and objections must specify the grounds on which they are made.