The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has renewed calls for cash-strapped councils to stop increasing parking charges which are harming high street sales.

Substantial parking increases are being introduced or considered in Burnley, Nottingham, Shrewsbury and Cornwall according to the Federation of Private Business.

BRC director of business and regulation Tom Ironside said: “Parking and transport policy chould be aimed at providing a service to customers and retailers, not exploited as a local authority fund raiser.

“Jacking-up charges looks like an easy option for cash-strapped councils but they should not be ignoring the wider impact on their communities and economies of the damage higher charges to town centres.”