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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Parking charges will be nail in coffin for small firms

One business leader has labelled the parking plans as the “nail in the coffin” for the county’s small businesses.

Allan Mossop photo
Allan Mossop

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

Related: Fears charges will permanently drive shoppers out of town

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

Allan Mossop is chairman of the west Cumbrian branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which has 700 members covering an area from Silloth to Ravenglass and inland to Keswick.

He spoke with dismay about the effect the proposed charges will have on some of Cumbria’s rural towns and communities – insisting the county council is going against the national view.

“This is going to be the nail in the coffin for some towns,” Mr Mossop insisted. “It has been proven nationally by the FSB that where councils have removed parking chargesor lessened them, the footfall has improved dramatically.

“One council, Northumberland, has just abolished charges for some of its market towns so I think we’ll be going against the trend.”

It is not the first time parking has been highlighted as a potential pivotal point to transform the county’s high streets. “I’ve approached Copeland and Cumbria councils in the past about parking, my views are well known,” Mr Mossop continued. “We’ve had petitions in the past too.

“People are not going to go to places like Workington or Whitehaven now to nip in to the chemist or single-item shopping, because they’re going to be hit with an initial charge.”

Rather than penalising shoppers and small businesses, Mr Mossop is calling for some form of levy to be imposed on the major supermarkets like Tesco, Morrisons and Asda which have free parking and are already detracting from high streets. “The Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has said that councils should not be using cars and parking as cash cows, which is what this is,” he said.

Mr Mossop added that there are more than 30 empty shops now in two of the main shopping streets in Whitehaven town centre – a number he fears will continue to grow.

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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Given the tide of public opinion against on-street parking charges in Cumbria, should county councillors scrap the plan now?

Yes. They should show they hear the voice of the people

No. The council needs the money and has to get it from somewhere

Town centres will suffer but the council will spend £10m on a new HQ. How can that be right?

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