Plans to increase fees on Malvern car parks have been labelled a “tax on tourism”.

The district council is consulting on proposals to increase long-stay and evening parking charges in its car parks.

The cost of a 24-hour stay at the Council House, Victoria Road, Hanley Road, New Street, Priory Road North, Priory Road South, and Teme Street car parks could go up from £3 to £4.

Also proposed is an increase in the evening tariff from £1.50 to £2 at all car parks and cost of  Resident Annual Two-Hour Permits from £25 to £30 per year.

The council also wants the cost for coaches to go from 10p to £4.

Alongside the price hikes, the maximum waiting period is going up at town centre car parks and blue badge holders will be able to stay for three hours on all car parks across the district.

Jeremy Owenson, leader of the opposition Conservative group at Malvern Hills District Council, said: “Our High Streets are only just recovering after Covid, and this increase in charges is a tax on tourism.

“This is a hilly area with limited public transport and a car is an essential for many residents.

“It is time that the council started prioritising our residents and our businesses, rather than pursue their foolish anti-car agenda.”

Great Malvern traders told the Malvern Gazette they welcomed the increased waiting times in town centre car parks - but see parking fees as a “barrier to trade” and would still advise customers to park for free for three hours at Waitrose.

Independent councillor John Gallagher, the portfolio holder for resources at MHDC, said: “I understand these proposals may be both welcome and unwelcome to drivers across the district.

“The council hasn’t reviewed some of these car park charges since 2012 and the amendments will help continue to provide important services to residents.

“We are also keeping the one and two-hour tariffs unchanged on every car park, at the cheapest levels anywhere in Worcestershire.”