Businesses in the city are calling for the council to rethink the increase on parking charges, saying that it will hit the local economy by putting people off from coming into the city.

Tommy Roberts, general manager of the Cathedral Hotel, on Milford Street, said that it is a "shame" to put prices up: “As businesses, we need to be encouraging people to use the city, not discouraging by increasing prices.

“We know that the cost of living is going up. It is a shame. Footfall numbers are down anyway, and they should be increasing post-lockdown. We need to give people an incentive to come.”

He also shared his fear that it was already "hard enough" to find staff, without making them pay for parking.

He said: “At the Cathedral, we start at 4pm or 5pm, and we do not have a car park. Staff will need to pay for their own parking, when before they could park for free at Culver Street after 3pm.

“The council really need to rethink this. If anything, put the prices down. In Reading, they used to make concession prices include hospitality and retail staff. They understood that the only way restaurants and bars could operate meant discussing parking rights.

“It is hard enough getting staff as it is."

Salisbury is already the most expensive place to park in all off-street car parks run by Wiltshire Council.

Pierre Barton-Pink, who opened a new independent art materials shop just last month, said the changes are “outrageous”.

He owns the Compleat Artist shop on Winchester Street.

Read more: New shop Compleat Artist to open in Salisbury city centre

He told the Journal: “Wiltshire Council have been trying to make Salisbury more accessible. They should really focus on the high street.

“Increasing parking is going to put people off coming. Anything that means more costs will put people off. People will shop online.”

He added that his partner has to pay for an hour’s parking every evening when she gets home from teaching training because they cannot get another resident's permit.

“Residents shouldn’t have to pay for parking on the street. It should be included in council tax, which is high enough as it is and I believe due to rise again soon.”

The removal of free parking on Sundays is expected to also hit the congregations of churches.

Many churchgoers take advantage of free parking in Salisbury’s off-street car parks when attending their services, as some churches do not have the space for their own car parks.

Ian Dunphy, pastor at Elim Church on Dew's Road, said that while they have a small car park on site, this would not accommodate everyone if the whole congregation turns up to church.

He said: “Many people still watch from home because of Covid, but it may potentially cause disruption at some point.”

Wiltshire Council voted on Tuesday to increase car park charges all over the county.

Changes include adding 10p per hour on every tariff, removing free parking after 3pm in Culver Street, and introducing charges for parking on Sundays and Blue Badge holders.

Read more: City centre parking to rise and no longer free on Sundays in new plans

Get more Salisbury news

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date, as well as signing up for one of our newsletters.

If you want online news with fewer ads, unlimited access and reader rewards - plus a chance to support our local journalism - find out more about registering or a digital subscription.

Email with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.