Traders in West Bay have branded a price hike in parking charges 'outrageous'.

A worker at one shop in the resort said staff are 'really upset' by the large increase in parking costs. 

Jody Peach, of the Customs House Emporium on Station Road, said: “It’s outrageous and every single person who comes to the till says 'what is the point in the car parking charges?'

“We are really upset by this; they have gone up so fast.”

Parking costs in the town have soared from £8 to £15 for a day’s parking, with costs increasing at Bridport Arms, Esplanade, Quayside, East Beach, Station Yard and West Bay Road car parks.

Car park charges in these areas were previously £1 for up to 30 mins, £2 for up to an hour, and £3 for up to three hours.

After the increase, charges became £1.50 for up to 30 mins, £3 for up to an hour, and £4.50 for up to three hours.

Rachel Kingston, who owns the quayside kiosk Rachels, said: “To park for a couple of hours in the morning it’s £3 and we charge £2.50 for a cappuccino.”

She added: “We have had people who want to order with us, and we have been really busy, and their parking has run out."

Rachel said: “I don’t think people will be able to stay for the day.”

Meanwhile, there will be no increase in the cost of on-street parking permits for residents, and short-stay and flexi-park permit prices will remain the same.

Anna Powell, director of gallery and cafe Sladers Yard, said: “It does affect people as they are quite often saying they can’t stay for lunch because of parking.

“It’s not good for the cafes - People are not staying as long as they would.”

She also mentioned how it must be affecting part time workers who cannot apply for a parking permit.

“It’s a huge chunk of your wage to pay for the parking.”

A spokesperson for Dorset Council said: “West Bay was changed from £2 to £8 a day in 2021, when we introduced standard car park tariffs across the Dorset Council area. 

“When Dorset Council formed, there were many different charges across the council area and some car park charges, such as West Bay, had not increased for many years and were not covering costs.

"With continued rising maintenance costs, the price increased to £10 in 2022 and to £15 (1 April to 31 October). Outside these months, parking is £9 a day. It is free all year between 6pm and 8am.

“Parking income covers the maintenance costs of the car parks and any surplus is used to support our highways improvement projects."