Boro Boy wrote: ↑
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:40 am
Obviously can't cover every angle or topography of the highstreet but free parking shopping centres are always going to win hands down over the more usual "strapped for cash Councils parking fees" in the high street.
The best idea for this I have seen is in a North East town where you can park for 2 hours (enough time to shop for most people) and only then charges kick in. This system seems to keep footfall in the high streets there and a much better idea than instant parking charges resulting in reduced footfall, shops shutting down and the dead high streets meaning nil commercial rates for the Council anyway.
Halesworth, small market town not far from us: free parking for one hour paid for by many local shops and other businesses. Not paid by Boots of course.
Southwold, small seaside town beloved by Hampstead set near us: free on street parking and in car park but can be hard to find anywhere other than near pier or harbour car parks with a free space a lot of the time. And pay at both of them.
Beccles: bit larger market town near us: Pay at car park in town centre but if you are prepared to walk a few yards before the shops start you can park for one hour for free in a few spaces. Often full of course especially as the library is next door to the car park. But canny shoppers can park in Tesco for three hours and the shopping centre starts across the road. The main area is a shortish walk away but there are many shops within 50 yards of Tesco.
But the oddest I have ever found was the big apple of the District Council area: Lowestoft. Until fairly recently it was £1 for the first hour and £2.10 for the second hour in the town centre car parks. Someone worked out it was discouraging shoppers to stay longer than necessary so now the same rate per hour. Two multi story car parks and one biggish ground car park by shopping centre. But now one multi story has been partially demolished due to safety concerns. Part of it is now an open air two story car park but the plan was to demolish and replace with shops and housing. Great to have shops but if you cannot park what is the point? What will happen when whole unit is demolished (and when)is still unknown.
Car parking discourages shoppers from towns but the councils are so strapped for cash due to the Govt. removing most of the grants they previously got and an increasing number of elderly people needing care. So I can understand the car park charges. But along with horrendous business rates it is killing town centre shops and smaller towns shopping centres.
Keep smiling because the light at the end of someone's tunnel may be you, Ron Cheneler