Saving the ‘lifeblood of communities’

November 27, 2012 12:53 PM

The TaxPayers’ Alliance is joining forces with Bath’s Small Business Focus (SBF) campaign group to oppose an extension of parking charges in Victoria Park at the heart of the historic city.

Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES) Council want to introduce charges on roads inside the park that previously allowed free parking—a great attraction for shoppers and visitors coming to Bath. If they bring in pay-and-display charges, not only will it will discourage shoppers, it will have a big impact on those working in the city.

‘There is no car parking at my office,’ says one architect, ‘so this is the only place I can park where I don’t have to pay a fortune. I don’t know what I will do when they stop it.’ ‘The car parks are too expensive,’ says another city centre worker, ‘and there is no way I could use them five days a week for around eight hours a day.’

In a joint letter to the Bath Chronicle, the TPA and the SBF have made their objections clear. ‘The first duty of our council is to ensure that the commercial fabric of our city works to its best,’ says Angela Ladd, chairman of the SBF. ‘Everything we love about Bath flows from that—our independent shops and restaurants and our creative businesses.’

‘B&NE’S should do its most to remove any barriers to that success,’ argues Angela Ladd. ‘Instead, Cllr Roger Symonds [cabinet member for transport] seems to be addicted to doing everything he can to put barriers in their way, from closing roads to complicating inner city parking. Now he wants to charge for parking in the western side of Victoria Park.’

That B&NES recognise there is a link between levying parking charges and denting local business is proved by its recent U-turn on parking charges in Bath’s outlying villages.  Thanks to the intervention of an independent councillor and local traders, Cllr Symonds was forced to back down and drop the council’s plans.

‘The messages that the cabinet heard about abolishing free parking in many car parks were very clear,’ admitted Symonds. ‘These are the lifeblood of communities.’

Absolutely! But that truth also applies to Bath. The city is not too big to be vulnerable to a similar shutting down of this vital community facility. So, Cllr Symonds, please consider the businesses and taxpayers of Bath and leave Victoria Park alone!

 The TaxPayers’ Alliance is joining forces with Bath’s Small Business Focus (SBF) campaign group to oppose an extension of parking charges in Victoria Park at the heart of the historic city.

Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES) Council want to introduce charges on roads inside the park that previously allowed free parking—a great attraction for shoppers and visitors coming to Bath. If they bring in pay-and-display charges, not only will it will discourage shoppers, it will have a big impact on those working in the city.

‘There is no car parking at my office,’ says one architect, ‘so this is the only place I can park where I don’t have to pay a fortune. I don’t know what I will do when they stop it.’ ‘The car parks are too expensive,’ says another city centre worker, ‘and there is no way I could use them five days a week for around eight hours a day.’

In a joint letter to the Bath Chronicle, the TPA and the SBF have made their objections clear. ‘The first duty of our council is to ensure that the commercial fabric of our city works to its best,’ says Angela Ladd, chairman of the SBF. ‘Everything we love about Bath flows from that—our independent shops and restaurants and our creative businesses.’

‘B&NE’S should do its most to remove any barriers to that success,’ argues Angela Ladd. ‘Instead, Cllr Roger Symonds [cabinet member for transport] seems to be addicted to doing everything he can to put barriers in their way, from closing roads to complicating inner city parking. Now he wants to charge for parking in the western side of Victoria Park.’

That B&NES recognise there is a link between levying parking charges and denting local business is proved by its recent U-turn on parking charges in Bath’s outlying villages.  Thanks to the intervention of an independent councillor and local traders, Cllr Symonds was forced to back down and drop the council’s plans.

‘The messages that the cabinet heard about abolishing free parking in many car parks were very clear,’ admitted Symonds. ‘These are the lifeblood of communities.’

Absolutely! But that truth also applies to Bath. The city is not too big to be vulnerable to a similar shutting down of this vital community facility. So, Cllr Symonds, please consider the businesses and taxpayers of Bath and leave Victoria Park alone!

 

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