CAR PARK charges could come down in Cornwall, according to the new man in charge of transport at County Hall.
Councillor Bert Biscoe, from Truro, was unexpectedly promoted to the role of Cabinet member for highways following the departure of former leader Alec Robertson.
He said he asked officers and members to re-examine parking charges across the county, which could lead to lowering fees in Truro.
The charges were set across the county by a Cornwall Council panel after the new unitary authority took responsibility for them from the previous district councils. But Mr Biscoe has asked the panel to look at whether prices should be decided locally.
He said: "It could result in car park charges coming down. Car park charges need to provide for economic vibrancy in Cornwall.
"If the traders feel they are being sucked dry then it's in nobody's interest."
"If you have a car park manager in a town who is engaged with the local business community that should be mutually beneficial.
"If car park charges are competitive then more business will be done and more people will use the car parks.
"What the council needs to do in my view is to be careful to make sure that it's contributing to the economic potential of towns – not exploiting it."
Mr Biscoe also questioned the benefits of the park-and-ride system for Truro. "People buy one bag of goods rather than driving in and loading up their cars."
And the councillor for Moresk ward also now finds himself in charge of a scheme he vehemently opposed as one of the most vocal critics of the Truro Eastern District Centre project to build a Waitrose, houses and a park and ride at the top of Tregolls Road.
"I'm in a very difficult position. I have not changed my position but I'm also a member of a Cabinet that has made particular decisions so with great reluctance I'm obliged to take the papers through that facilitate the scheme."