Marcus Jones High Streets Minister has made it clear that small town centres should become “Parking Meter Free Zones”
Figures seen by The Telegraph disclose that councils in England and Wales are set to collect an additional £39million this year in parking revenues compared with last year, reaching a record total of £687 million.
Last year, local authorities took £648 million despite the Government telling them not to use parking charges and fines to raise revenue.
Cardigan council in Wales saw custom in local shops increase by up to 50 per cent after it allowed free parking when thieves destroyed the town’s four parking machines.
Well yes, we would say that this is an example of 12 areas where the Council could:-
- Encourage people to visit our town centres
- Help people to Shop locally
- Support Local Retailers
- Stop our High Streets becoming Clones, full of the Multiples but no room for local shops and Diversity of Choice
- Support local businesses who will spend their profits locally and help our economy, rather than overseas Coffee companies who take profits away from the local economy and often do not pay full UK Tax
- Stop our High Streets becoming full of Charity Shops who pay no Business Rates, and hence effect our economy
- Create an environment we want to live in where you are not stressed out by parking fines, and being pursued by parking attendants
- Reduce the number of Taxi parking Spaces, so you can just “Pop down the Shops” and park outside Halfords in WGC for example. (Taxis pay Licence Fees)
- Open up perfectly good Parking Spaces like the one, that used to exist, over the passenger Bridge from Welwyn Hatfield Station
- Convert some of the 1930’s Tertiary retail space that was originally residential, back into residential and reduce the need for building on Green Field sites
- Have parking meters that charge round sums, or give change. Charging £1.10 and not giving change can only inconvenience, or overcharge people.
- Stand by its values of Transparency, Respect, Integrity and Fairness
The monies raised from parking must be a fraction of the real cost.
Yet when we query such things we are told the solution is controlled parking zones. That is more cost and more restrictions.
So we would ask the Council to see some sense around this and stop empire building at the expense of the community it is paid to serve. Many town centres, such as Hemel Hempstead charge a fraction of the costs payable in Welwyn Garden City.