BUSINESS figures ‘vehemently oppose’ a proposal to double the price of a ticket in one of Dorchester’s most popular car parks.

In a letter obtained by the Echo, Dorchester BID chairman John Fiori asks district councill leader David Clarke to reconsider the plan to hike prices at Fairfield car park.

In April, the price of an 8am to 6pm ticket will double from £2 to £4.

It is estimated that the council will make an extra £200,000 from the increase.

The plan has been described as ‘outrageous’ since it was backed by councillors in December.

In the letter to Mr Evans, Mr Fiori says ‘many members’ of the BID had contacted its office with their concerns.

He goes on to add: ‘We trust that you will very carefully consider the implications of this price increase before any decisions are made.

‘This change will cause a significant negative impact upon staff and business owners alike (who utilise the long stay facility).

‘These car park users could experience a 100 percent increase in their parking charges over the course of the year.

‘We enjoy a close working relationship and we are keen to pass on the feedback that we are given to ensure that you have a balanced view of the opinions of our levy payers.’

The price hike was proposed in the annual parking report agreed by the executive committee.

Readers, such as 28 year-old Lauren Browne whose car was vandalised when she left in the car park to go to work, have told the Echo that they oppose the measure.

Town councillor David Taylor previously told the Echo he is concerned workers will be forced to park in residential areas, causing more disagreements and possible vandalism.

Speaking to the Echo today, Mr Fiori said he is yet to receive a response from the council but was compelled to write the letter because levy payers are ‘very unhappy.’

A spokesman for West Dorset District Council said: "Short stay parking charges across the district have remained frozen for an eighth consecutive year.

"However, councillors agreed in December to bring charges, including season tickets, for Middle and Little Fairfield car park in line with the Top O'Town car park and to set the minimum long stay all-day parking charge at £2 in all other West Dorset District Council-run car parks."