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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Fears charges will permanently drive shoppers out of town

Traders from across Cumbria are united in their objection to proposals to bring in parking charges in 11 key towns and cities.

Edwin Rickerby photo
Edwin Rickerby

Related: Cumbria council: We can’t afford not to charge anymore

Related: Parking charges will be nail in coffin for small firms

Related: On-street parking charges: Don't drive our recovery out of town

Cumbria County Council will decide next month on exactly when the new charges will come into force, how much they will cost and how they will be enforced.

A paper submitted to the cabinet last week gave details of streets for six of the towns, but the other five remain in the dark as to where the meters could be placed. This information is set to be included in a further paper to be considered in May.

The majority of traders spoken to by the News & Star fear the charges will not only stop the impulse or single-item visits to the high street, but will permanently drive people out of town.

Alan Seymour, owner of Lifestyle Repairs in Station Street, Cockermouth, said: “The charges will affect everyone here and people will just go to supermarkets where they can park instead.

“We’ve already got the roadworks going on and it seems like they just want to kill off town centres.

“When the roadworks finish how can they expect our customers to come back if there are new charges?”

Mary West, owner of Chimes Cafe, on Castle Street in Carlisle city centre, agreed: “I thought they wanted people to come into Carlisle and shop, not put them off: they are just going to go elsewhere, where they can park for free.

“They should be giving people an incentive to get them in.

“There are so many places you can go to today where it is free to park.”

Edwin Rickerby, owner of Castlegate Coffee House, on Castle Street also in the city centre, said he feared people might be tempted to go for tea or coffee at the supermarket when they got their shopping, rather than heading into the city centre.

“It will definitely drive people out of town,” he added.

Claire Murray, who owns Goody 2 Shoes in Station Street, Cockermouth, said it was particularly difficult for traders in the town, claiming that every time they begin to recover from disaster there was a new challenge to overcome.

“They can’t do any more to Cockermouth because they’ve already killed the town with the roadworks – it’s been terrible,” she claimed.

“We were just getting over the floods, and tourists were starting to come back and then they close the town centre – only to reopen it with parking charges.

“It just seems so unfair. It’s pretty bad here at the moment and we are trying to stay positive, but it’s difficult when it affects your business like this.”

David Fleming, owner of Penrith Auto Spares, in Castlegate, Penrith, said: “I don’t think it will help the town centre at all.

“They used to turn a blind eye, but now the wardens are chasing people away and it will cause problems without a doubt. It will move people out of town altogether.”

He added: “It used to be abuzz four or five years ago and you couldn’t move for people. [The councils] have ruined this town.”

Have your say

If all the motorists got together for one day and refuse to pay the parking fee. When a ticket is issued ask for your day in court. Can you imagine the chaos as everyone who attends and states his/her not guilty/guilty plea. I wonder how long it would take before the law was abolished..
I'm from Silloth

Posted by Herb C on 10 July 2014 at 02:22

At last we are seeing some of the District and Borough Councils standing up, it however beggars belief that ALL the District and Borough Councils have not stood up to this very clear cash cow policy of the county council (CCC)
http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/parking-charges-carlisle-council-totally-opposed-eden-threatens-call-in-1.1137169

CCC are scrapping the bottom of the barrel when they resort to methods such as stating:
"councillors argued that not implementing the scheme would hit services designed to protect vulnerable people."
DAVID ATTFIELD V THE LONDON BOROUGH OF BARNET

THE LAW IS EXPLICIT - PARKING CHARGES ARE ABOUT MANAGING CONGESTION, NOT RAISING REVENUE.

Mrs Justice Lang said that the 1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act "IS NOT A FISCAL MEASURE AND DOES NOT AUTHORISE THE AUTHORITY TO USE ITS POWERS TO CHARGE LOCAL RESIDENTS FOR PARKING IN ORDER TO RAISE SURPLUS REVENUE FOR OTHER TRANSPORT PURPOSES".

Posted by edd on 20 May 2014 at 13:34

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