Council U-Turn on parking

The Rugby Observer (I can’t find the article on their website, so no link) reports that the Borough Council is likely to remove the 50p night-time parking charges for the town centre.

This is surely something that should be borne in mind – the charges were only imposed five months ago, and at the time there were considerable complaints that doing so would make the town centre less attractive to shoppers just at a time when it is suffering from a recession.

This was a policy put through by the Tory council, from a party that keeps telling us that they are knowledgeable when it comes to economics and finance. A measure that may well have brought in a bit of extra cash for the council (and so reducing any deficits) has a detrimental effect on the wider economy.

What they tried to do here, they are seeking to do at a national level.

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5 Responses to “Council U-Turn on parking”

  1. Larry David Says:

    Gotta be honest mate, I think most people would find 50p a pretty reasonable parking charge, in fact if it was that cheap in Brighton it would ATTRACT shoppers for the almost-free parking alone!

    Actually its not entirely clear from your comment as to whether you think removing it is a good idea or a bad idea?

  2. Danivon Says:

    Well, it’s 50p over whatever you had to pay before, and a lot of people got caught out when it first came in so it was less about the 50p charge than the £60 fines which caused annoyance.

    Sure it is cheaper than Brighton, but Rugby does not have anywhere near the shopping or entertainment that Brighton does to attract people. So it needs all it can to keep people coming into town to spend their money.

    I don’t think it was a good idea to bring it in the first place. It didn’t even bring in half the amount of that the Council thought it would.

    So I do think it’s good that they are removing the charges, it would have been better not to bring them in in the first place – at least not until we are in more positive economic climes.

  3. Skuds Says:

    Sounds like a bad idea. It is little more than a token charge which, if enforced would cost more to administer than it would ever bring in – unless there were a lot of penalty charges.

    Crawley outdoor car parks are now 24-hour pay & display. Horsham car parks (Piries Place, Park House, onstreet bays, etc.) are free after 6pm – a much more sensible idea as far as I can see.

  4. Danivon Says:

    Skuds,

    Free parking after 6 is good if you want to bring people in and don’t want to risk putting them off. 24 charging is ok if you have enough demand and want to make money from it.

    But yes, a token charge is just annoying to a lot of people (especially if you don’t have change on you). The council thought it would bring in £30,000 – £40,000 a year. In reality, it would make only £16,000 a year if they kept it going, based on current use. Without fines, it would have possibly made a loss.

  5. mrs wormwood Says:

    Most street parking in Manchester is free after 6pm. And Manchester is (apparently) a hip and happening place. Although, parking in a car park can be a lot cheaper than buying a new window and stereo……


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