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Parking charges will kill off trade and cause dangerous on-road parking

(March 22, 2010)
ANOTHER nail will be driven into the coffin of local trade in Warminster by Wiltshire Council when the increasingly unpopular and unrepresentative body brings in significant car parking charges.
From April the cost of parking in Warminster will be 40p for one hour, a pound for two hours, one sixty for three hours and 3.60 for all day parking.
Town councillors were offered the opportunity of subsidising the one hour charge to the tune of 36,000 giving the first hour for just 20p.
They rejected the idea with some regarding it as an insult especially when the main multi-storey car park in Trowbridge will remain free of charge.

Councillor Chris March, said: ''This is being steamrollered in by Wiltshire Council as they plan to have this in place whether we like it or not.''
He predicted local traders would suffer and the move will threaten any fragile recovery.
Councillor Pip Ridout, said: ''I don't believe in a one size fits all policy for parking charges with the rural areas paying the same as the M4 corridor.
''Are we really going to pay 36,000 pounds to save 100 people 20p an hour ?
''I would have liked to see some proper budget figures showing the cost of maintaining car parking in Warminster.''
Currently 205 of Warminster's 450 car spaces are free for the first two hours.
Steve Dancey of VFW, said: ''Those introducing these car parking charges are simply using the car parks that we paid for in the 1960s as a cash cow to pay the adminstration costs of the top heavy Wiltshire Council - the biggest cost of car parking services is always 'recharges between departments' in budgets.
''Hardly any of the money is used in paying for maintenance of the car park and the hope of councillor Andrew Davis that some of the money raised will by hypothocated to pay for bus services is touching but naive.
''The impact of the charges will see more people flocking to Frome's Asda to shop, more parking in side streets and in dangerous positions and harm the High Street as people no longer feel free to browse the shops for fear of getting a ticket.
''One bright spot however will be that the empty car parks will be more available for young lads to play soccer.''
Note - We warned people this was coming in our hot topic on 6 January this year. It is reproduced below

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 charged 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 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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