PARKING charges in Darwen 'should be overhauled' after it was claimed town hall chiefs made a loss on a new scheme.

Darwen Town Council mayor Roy Davies said that Blackburn with Darwen Council had spent £14,340 implementing the changes, but had only made £4,499 from people using the car parks between October 1 and February 28.

The charges were introduced on Railway Road and Atlas Road in October, forcing motorists to pay to park during the week.

Cllr Davies said: “The total cost of implementing the scheme and painting yellow lines cost £14,340 over a six-week period.

“Month by month, rather than an increase in usage which was predicted by the council, it is decreasing and overall shows that the average being made by the car parks is £30 per day. Just ten cars a day using them at £3 a day.”

Council bosses said they introduced the charges because commuters had being using the space to park all day for free while using the train to travel out of the town.

However, Cllr Davies said commuters were parking on the free car park in Knott Street rather than pay the charges.

“The Knott Street car park is now full of commuters.

“They are taking up parking spaces that shoppers could be using to purchase goods in the market.

“Those who can’t get on Knott Street are parking on streets and causing problems for residents who live in and around the car parks.

“I believe at the end of this month they are supposed to be re-assessing the situation.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if their solution would be to put more double yellow lines down and make people pay to park on Knott Street rather than just admitting it isn’t viable.”

Cllr Phil Riley, executive member for regeneration, said funds from the car parks benefit residents.

He said: “Any income from car parks goes back into vital council works.

“Any funds, however small, are important and benefit residents.

“New systems can take time to get used to and we believe that people will continue to use them.”