ACCRINGTON'S unpopular disc parking scheme is set to be scrapped after more than 10 years.
The decision has been taken by Hyndburn Council's ruling Tory group in a bid to improve parking in the town centre and make it more driver-friendly.
Currently, drivers in many town centre car parks, including the Arndale shopping centre, must display a green disc to show what time they arrived. If they park for longer than allowed they face fines of up to £60.
But the scheme has come under fire from critics who claim it drives shoppers and visitors away from the town centre.
Council leader Peter Britcliffe told a meeting of the Cabinet this week: "The scheme is policed by wardens run by Lancashire County Council. People might think the money comes into our coffers but this is very far from the truth.
"We get very little out of it and I would very happily scrap the whole lot tomorrow as there are a lot of people who blame the council for it."
He added that the discs would not disappear overnight but would be phased out gradually.
In the meantime the council is set to increase the number of long-stay parking spaces to give visitors more time to do their shopping and sightseeing.
This will mean:
- Decreasing the number of 30-minute stay spaces from 77 to 48.
- Decreasing the number of one-hour stay spaces from 241 to 164.
- Increasing the number of two-hour stay spaces from 25 to 120.
- Increasing the number of three-hour stay spaces from 600 to 608.
Councillor David Myles, leader of the council's Labour group, said: "We welcome the plans as it is clear you cannot do very much in a half-hour stay.
"The disc-parking scheme is a very strange anomaly and we must be one of the few places in the country that actually has one."
Councillor Britcliffe stressed there were no plans to introduce parking charges and the town's famous free parking would continue.