CHARGES in council car parks in the Taunton and Minehead areas could rise by 20 per cent.

Somerset West and Taunton Council is to consider the hefty increase as part of its pledge to be carbon neutral within a decade.

The move could net the authority an extra £500,000 each year but would only be implemented from the spring at the earliest.

A written officer's report to Wednesday's executive committee meeting said: "We are developing a parking strategy as part of the overall work on the climate emergency.

"It is currently estimated that the proposals would be to increase parking fees by approximately 20 per cent, which would initially result in an increase in income of roughly £500,000.

"Any increase in fees would need to be agreed by the full council."

If the hike is approved, it would costs £2.42 to use in Canon Street Car Park for two hours, up from £2.20; Longforth Road, in Wellington, would go up 10p to £1.10 for the same period; and parking all day at Quay West, in Minehead, would go from £6 to £6.60.

The council's annual car park maintenance budget would cover the cost of replacing signs and updating ticketing machines across the district.

A council spokeswoman said: "We expect the parking strategy to begin its process of going through our various committees this spring."