A RETIRED Dorset man is 'outraged and disgusted' by the increase in car parking charges.

In March, Dorset Council revealed it would be raising prices in some car parks across the county, saying it would focus on 'tourist areas' to limit the impact on residents.

Prices were controversially increased in many seaside car parks - with motorists now needing to fork out £15 for a day's parking, and £1.50 for up to 30 minutes.

Philip Legge lives just across the county border in Somerset.

He and his wife Karen enjoy regular trips to the seaside in their retirement - including West Bay, Lyme Regis, Weymouth and Swanage - and are furious at the price of parking.

Mr Legge said: "Having lived just south of Yeovil for almost 20 years, and now retired so on a tight budget, we have previously had the joy of regularly visiting Lyme Regis, West Weymouth, Bay, Swanage as all are within an hour’s drive.

"The obscene and objectionable rise in parking fees has meant that we’ve not been this year – and don’t intend to. We have lost out on that pleasure – and the local businesses have lost our support."

Philip and Karen Legge enjoy coffee, cakes and lunches on their day trips to the seaside. Mr Legge estimates they spend around £70 at local cafes per trip, totalling up to £1k each year.

"I would imagine this year people are being caught out, but people won't be coming back next year" added Mr Legge.

"I talk to the traders that we go down to see and they are horrified by it."

Local businesses say they have felt the impact of the price increase. Nigel Sims-Duff who owns the Palm House Café in Weymouth - located next to two council-owned car parks - called the charges 'excessive and unreasonable'.

Meanwhile Taste Café at the Fine Foundation Wild Chesil Centre on Portland Beach Road, Portland will be closing on August 31 with customers saying it is a direct consequence of the council’s extortionate car parking charges'.

In June, tempers flared at a Weymouth Town Council meeting with council members voting unanimously to write to Dorset Council to review the charges.