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New parking charges in town will mirror those in Frome

(January 06, 2010)
AFTER two and a half years of disruptive road works our county council is hatching another cunning plan likely to poleaxe trade in Warminster.
It involves introducing mandatory car parking charges at the same rate as those charges in Frome.
Councillors have been told that current county policies do not properly reflect regional parking policies which try to reduce reliance on cars in the name of 'sustainability'.
County councillors on Wiltshire Council have been told that the new local transport plan (LTP3) must also 'reduce wasteful competition between towns in the sub-region'
This means we will have to charge the same parking charges as Frome.
The LTP3 also need to raise revenues for the council, they have been told.
Councils raised almost 1,9 billion pounds through parking charges last year and the old North Wilts DC was particularly successful at this.
NWDC increased its income by 92 per cent in one year to 1.6 million and now no doubt greedy bosses at County Hall are eyeing up the possibility of making similar returns across the rest of the county. (Figures from the Drivers' Alliance).
VFW's Steve Dancey said: ''I'm all in favour of green transport - in fact I did without a car for over a year recently - but punishing users of small market town centres through high car parking charges is not the answer.
''Such charges simply drive custom into out of town shops (such as ASDA in Frome) where there is free parking.
''This further encumbrances market town centres and means that vulnerable and less well off people find it ever more difficult to reach decent shopping facilities as they lack their own means to get out of town.
''I think some of those who think up these plans should get out into the real world and meet real people.
''This issue is one reason I will always be an independent on the side of the public - which by and large doesn't want these charges.
''In the 1990s the Lib Dems brought the charges in in West Wilts - ending the decades' old tradion of free parking here.
''In 2003 Conservatives promised and failed to remove them completely - though we at least got two hours for shoppers - and this whole new programme is being pushed through by the Labour Government.''
If only we live lived in a democracy where the views of the public was paramount rather than our patrician rulers.

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