Plans to introduce charges in short stay car parks in a town centre have been dubbed “unfair”.

Under Three Rivers District Council plans for Rickmansworth, the first hour of town centre parking will be free but drivers will be then charged a pound every hour up to four hours.

The council needs to ensure that its parking meets legal requirements that the civil enforcement of its parking controls should not be subsidised by the taxpayer.

Cllr Ralph Sangster, who represents Rickmansworth Town, believes other areas in Three Rivers should also introduce charges.

He said: “We are concerned it will have a negative impact for the retailers in the high street.

“The rest of Three Rivers will be exempt such as Abbots Langley and Chorleywood.

“It should be introduced across the board so it is fair.”

However, council leader Cllr Sara Bedford said: “The council has been running parking operations at a loss for a number of years, which is now not allowed.

“In order to bring the finances into balance, and to increase the turnover of parking spaces available for passing trade, limited restrictions are being introduced.

“Almost every council in the country now charges for parking. Three Rivers will continue to offer free short stay parking, which again very few councils offer.”

Car parks where charging is intended to be introduced in Rickmansworth are:

  • Ebury House car park,
  • High Street (West) car park,
  • Northway multilevel upper and lower level car parks,
  • Rose Garden car park,
  • Talbot Road (West, North side) car parks
  • Three Rivers House multilevel