Wiltshire Council Parking Fiasco

December 01, 2011 3:17 PM

In the vital shopping days leading up to Christmas, Wiltshire Council continues to hinder hard-pressed traders with their farcical parking charges policy, ignoring both popular protest and a ‘Show Some Sense’ local newspaper campaign. The latest twist in this sorry saga sees Wiltshire Council proffering a miserly 10p cut in parking charges in Trowbridge, Chippenham and Salisbury—after having increased charges by 300 per cent in some of their car parks!

Council leader Jane Scott was forced to introduce this 10p cut following a sharp shortfall in business for local traders, but the revised charges won’t formally come into effect until December 19th, leaving just six shopping days before Christmas. Nice timing!

Local residents have been unimpressed. ‘As if 10p will tempt anyone to pay for parking in any of these towns,’ said one. ‘It is pitiful to watch perfectly reasonable town centres having the life sucked out of them by supermarkets and out-of-town mega-stores with their free parking, whilst the local governments and planning agencies actually encourage the process with bizarre and unimaginative policies.’

In the meantime, traders and residents in Devizes are furious that Wiltshire Council is not introducing cuts to their parking charges. ‘Charges should be reduced in Devizes,’ says their Mayor, ‘because they are stopping people from coming into our town. I really can’t understand why Melksham has kept its two-hour free parking and Wiltshire Council hasn’t changed the parking in Devizes Market Place. We are very similar towns.’

Wiltshire Council cut the free parking in Devizes Market Place to just half-an-hour, hardly time to fill a shopping basket. ‘The feedback we have had is that retailers in the town are suffering as a result of increased parking charges,’ says the chairman of Devizes’ Chamber of Commerce, ‘in spite of Wiltshire Council putting it down to the general economic situation.’

Tim Newark, Bath & South-West TaxPayers’ AllianceIn the vital shopping days leading up to Christmas, Wiltshire Council continues to hinder hard-pressed traders with their farcical parking charges policy, ignoring both popular protest and a ‘Show Some Sense’ local newspaper campaign. The latest twist in this sorry saga sees Wiltshire Council proffering a miserly 10p cut in parking charges in Trowbridge, Chippenham and Salisbury—after having increased charges by 300 per cent in some of their car parks!

Council leader Jane Scott was forced to introduce this 10p cut following a sharp shortfall in business for local traders, but the revised charges won’t formally come into effect until December 19th, leaving just six shopping days before Christmas. Nice timing!

Local residents have been unimpressed. ‘As if 10p will tempt anyone to pay for parking in any of these towns,’ said one. ‘It is pitiful to watch perfectly reasonable town centres having the life sucked out of them by supermarkets and out-of-town mega-stores with their free parking, whilst the local governments and planning agencies actually encourage the process with bizarre and unimaginative policies.’

In the meantime, traders and residents in Devizes are furious that Wiltshire Council is not introducing cuts to their parking charges. ‘Charges should be reduced in Devizes,’ says their Mayor, ‘because they are stopping people from coming into our town. I really can’t understand why Melksham has kept its two-hour free parking and Wiltshire Council hasn’t changed the parking in Devizes Market Place. We are very similar towns.’

Wiltshire Council cut the free parking in Devizes Market Place to just half-an-hour, hardly time to fill a shopping basket. ‘The feedback we have had is that retailers in the town are suffering as a result of increased parking charges,’ says the chairman of Devizes’ Chamber of Commerce, ‘in spite of Wiltshire Council putting it down to the general economic situation.’

Tim Newark, Bath & South-West TaxPayers’ Alliance

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