A town councillor has called for a re-think on ‘confusing and inconsistent’ car parking charges in Burnham-On-Sea.

Speaking at the latest Town Council meeting, Cllr Martin Cox, pictured, said the current charges vary across Burnham’s car parks and “the maths don’t seem to add up” on the costs.

“In Pier Street you can buy half an hour for 40p, or spend 80p for one hour, which doesn’t seem too excessive, but the charges then jump to £1.60 for two hours and £3.50 for four hours.”

“I don’t know who did the maths, but they don’t seem to add up as there’s not the usual discount for four hour parking to encourage longer visits.”

“Showing how inconsistent the charges are, if you go to the community centre car park you do get a discount and four hours parking is £2.50.”

“I think Sedgemoor should reduce the four-hour charge quite considerably – their prices are inconsistent and confusing.”

However, Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman Cliare Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “The pricing is set to try and encourage short stay trips – for people to do their shopping, using the town centre shops – or long-stay (£5.50 all day) for visitors/tourists to the town. The all day rate is discounted from £7.20 to £5.50.”

“There are 791 spaces within the five car parks in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge, so we try to offer a range of pricing for the range of people who use the car parks.”

She added: “Car parks do have a cost to run. Clean, tidy and well-maintained car parks give a good first impression for visitors and tourists to Sedgemoor.”

“The cost of parking tickets covers a whole range of expenditure that may not be immediately obvious.”

“These include rates – yes, SDC does have to pay rates on property it owns – plus patrolling and cash collection from ticket machines contracted to Somerset County Council.”

“There’s also costs for CCTV; cleaning; looking after the shrubbery etc; repairs and maintenance to the tarmac; white-lining; maintenance/replacement of ticket machines; upgrade software costs where there is a change in tariff (currently over £6,000 to change all the machines); plus insurance and electricity costs for the lighting.”