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Stop being anti-car

itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Stop being anti-car

Eric Pickles is asking councils to look at their parking policies http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23837610
I live in in a county town that has just introduced a cheap parking rate from 4pm onwards to try to encourage shoppers. But is this too late and shoppers have gone elsewhere?
I believe that over the last year the local council can see what affect their parking policies are having on the town as they have changed all the on-street limited time parking from free to pay and display. When the parking was free it was very difficult to find a space now since changing to pay and display there are more empty spaces than parked cars. These on-road parking were limited time of 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Some of the smaller towns in the area the council have offered limited spaces for short time parking at no charge for several years and the shops seem to be doing well. 
13 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,929
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Stop being anti-car

The problem is that for many years, councils have seen motorists and parking as an easy way to make cash. They made their feelings about the 'economy' and the greater good of the country more than clear. The economy relies on people spending money and the same can be said about the 'local economy' too.
They've refused to believe that motorist bashing was bad for both nationwide and local economies and now the entire country is paying the price for the short term gain. Well done to every council across the land!
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,586
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Stop being anti-car

My town has just made some changes, this time for the better!
They have increased parking on the main street from 30min to 1hr.
Mind you there are a couple of gotya's in there, a couple of parts of the street are single yellow line, and a traffic warden is always on duty.
They have introduced extra parking on the side streets.
But they also have introduced a ring road that bypasses the town, passing by Asda and Tesco btw.
They have ONE long term parking area that has just been halved in size by the Borders Railway taking the lower half.
There are several short term parking areas costing 50p for 2hrs - never used them myself  Grin
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Stop being anti-car

Poole is a prime example of this
When I worked in the town centre the council had a stated policy of "getting the suits out of the town centre" to get more tourists in totally ignoring the fact that the "suits" supported the local shops during the non holiday peaks (most of the year).
The effect of this is that virtually all the shops in the lower half of the High Street closed.
On top of that they increased the car parking charges - a great money spinner  Shocked - with the effect that out of town shoppers dropped significantly and the shops suffered as a result
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,551
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Stop being anti-car

In my town the council removed the charges on a Saturday from 1 of our 2 car parks.  This has certainly been a help to the shops.  There is also a Sainsbury's car park where you pay 10p for 30 minutes but this is refunded at the tills.
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Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Stop being anti-car

After years of high parking charges in Sheffield I now rarely visit the town centre, doing my shopping either out of town or online.
If I do go into town I use the bus (council would approve) as I have a pass.
Since the Meadowhall and Crystal Peak shopping centres were built attracting shoppers lots of town centre shops closed or moved out there.
As an indicator there used to be two McDonald's in the town centre, now this is just the one.
I don't have any figures for comparison but on street parking now seems more reasonable but as others have said...too little too late.
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Infinity
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Registered: 19-06-2011

Re: Stop being anti-car

My small town nearby, almost a very large village, at least has High Street parking for free 30+ minutes, and three supermarkets adjacent to town centre with ample free parking, all close enough to walk into town for local shops, we have a nice variety.
Some excellent restaurants with free parking outside in the evenings.
Free parking is essential to the community, always very busy with pedestrians !
Several banks, always a good sign of a thriving community.
Shops that close down don't stay empty for long.
A good healthy local economy is essential for good local shops.
Many residents  support the local shops.

And we have a train station with a direct line into Manchester, which is ridiculously cheap off peak, trains every 30 minutes for the occasional foray into the Big City.
Great for evenings out, Restaurants, Cinema, Theatre etc in Manchester
Community Veteran
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: Stop being anti-car

In good old Londinium it is £4.40 an hour, plus the £10 congestion fee, so a three hour shopping trip, excluding fuel would be £23.20 if you can find a space. You pay about £26.40 for a family of four using London Transport once inside zone 2.  It puts the rural town costs in the shade somewhat?
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Stop being anti-car

Quote from: PlusComUK
Free parking is essential to the community.

Couldn't agree more!
We have a 'council issued' residents parking badge as part of our Council Tax. I was under the impression this was standard with most councils
Quote
Residents' Free Parking Concession
The annual Residents' Free Parking Concession is automatically issued to all households within the district. In order to benefit from the concession and be exempt from the pay and display charges before 11am and after 4pm daily, the badge must be displayed clearly on the windscreen of your vehicle. Only one badge is available to each household.
The Badge is issued for use under the following conditions:-
 It is only valid on the Council's Pay and Display car parks it is valid for use before 11.00AM and after 4.00PM, at all other times you must pay and display.
 Displaying the badge will enable you to park without paying, but all other rules apply.
 You may purchase a 1 hour parking ticket before 11am and display it alongside your badge to extend your stay to 12 noon. (Maximum extension 1 hour, valid on day of purchase only).
Please look after the badge as a replacement will not normally be issued.

Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Stop being anti-car

Quote from: journeys
We have a 'council issued' residents parking badge as part of our Council Tax. I was under the impression this was standard with most councils
Judging by around here it is most unusual
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Stop being anti-car

Judging by anywhere other than DerbyshireDales it's most unusual!. Excellent idea though Smiley
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Stop being anti-car

We certainly don't get any concessions.  The next door borough to ours did issue a permit for discounted parking but withdrew it some months ago.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Stop being anti-car

If I remember correctly Aberystwyth had a spell of allowing motorists to park anywhere, including double yellow lines with the intention of increasing trade in the Town.
After a few months the idea had to be abandoned due to streets being blocked for other motorists which lead to a number of assaults.
Midnight_Caller
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Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Stop being anti-car

Quote from: itsme
Eric Pickles is asking councils to look at their parking policies http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23837610
I live in in a county town that has just introduced a cheap parking rate from 4pm onwards to try to encourage shoppers. But is this too late and shoppers have gone elsewhere?
I believe that over the last year the local council can see what affect their parking policies are having on the town as they have changed all the on-street limited time parking from free to pay and display. When the parking was free it was very difficult to find a space now since changing to pay and display there are more empty spaces than parked cars. These on-road parking were limited time of 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Some of the smaller towns in the area the council have offered limited spaces for short time parking at no charge for several years and the shops seem to be doing well. 

Here in Middlesbrough on Linthorpe Road it's no longer a maine road it's a bloody car park, it's gone from 4 lanes to 2 lanes, sooner or later someone is going to get killed on it, Bussis, lorries and Cars still try to fly up and down it still as if it was still an 4 lane maine road.  Angry  Angry  Angry