IN Blackburn town centre and there are car parks emblazoned with the logos of private companies such as CPM deterring motorists from parking unless you have coughed up an annual fee.

The latest example is at the end of Tontine Street.

If it’s not CPM it is NCP char-ging extortionate prices.

A question worth asking is just how much money these private parking companies make from people.

For example, NCP, owned by Macquarie, had assets in 2009 totalling 326billion US dollars.

They can make these kinds of profits when the public has to pay “through the nose” or shell out for permits.

It is now virtually impossible to find free parking close to the town centre. The council is not innocent in this situation – it has made both East Park Drive and Shear Bank limited parking areas.

Could someone explain this decision in light of the fact that these roads are hardly congested areas?

People are taking a hit on all fronts – pay freezes, increased pension contributions, cuts to welfare, increase in petrol and diesel and now having to put money into the coffers of private parking companies.

We all want the local economy to flourish so instead of putting barriers in the way of people, there should be strong encouragement to come into town to spend hard-earned pay.

I encourage others to comment on this disgraceful situation.

Alan McShane, Blackburn.