WE read with dismay your piece in last week’s Hunts Post (Traders hit out at new parking plans, November 21) setting out Huntingdonshire District Council’s proposal to double the minimum stay at most of the council-run car parks.

Currently drivers can park for an hour for 60p, and two hours for £1.20. The council intends to do away with the 60p for one hour, making the minimum £1.20 for up to two hours. These charges are already ridiculously high in the current economic climate, but to impose a minimum charge of £1.20 seems utter madness. The article states that HDC says 'the change is designed to encourage people to visit and shop for longer'.

Just how it could do this baffles us. There's only one party that stands to gain by the proposal, and that's the council! Here's a radical idea: to support local residents and businesses how about making parking 60p for two hours, or even free as in Ramsey?

While on the subject of parking, we have on a number of occasions complained about the amount of illegal parking with impunity in St Ives town centre. This has been a problem for a number of years, and was down to a lack of policing. Recently the matter has improved with PCSOs patrolling the town on a regular basis and issuing parking tickets.

So, credit must go to the police for finally tackling the problem - long may it continue.

TOM and MAUREEN O'CONNELL

Just Cards and Thorntons

Bridge Street

St Ives