Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Riverside Parking Charges - another year on

Back in August 2010 HDC was imposing car parking charges on the Riverside Car Park. There was outrage at the thought of imposing 20 pence a hour - free evenings and Sundays. In the annual footfall survey taken in St Neots and the surrounding Towns there has been a fall off in footfall but an increase in St Neots by 1.3%. This blog held firm that imposing these charges against the background of cuts was the only way forward. 

Back in 2010 the doom mongers were out at the imposition of this modest imposition of charges.

Former Councillor and Town Mayor Gordon Thorpe said: "We have already been advised there has been a 6 per cent downturn in footfall and charging for parking will only increase that downward trend, as people will be unwilling to pay when, for the same price, they could go to Bedford, Cambridge or Peterborough. (Wrong)

"Town mayor, Cllr Gordon Thorpe described the news as “bitterly disappointing” predicting it would have a “devastating impact” on the town’s trade.

“HDC has chosen to ignore the people of St Neots. People who visit the town will now be out of pocket and once we lose shoppers we won’t get them back.”

Cllr Farrer who said: "...he would consider going Independent if the 3 hours scheme did not go through." It didn't and Cllr Farrer didn't resign the Conservatives.

Steve van de Kerkhove said:

"the impact on the town would be immediate with shops and businesses suffering during an already difficult economic period."
“This is going to be tough on the town. All you have to do is look at all the empty shops in High Street to see that the town is already suffering. We should be trying to increase footfall not drive shoppers away.

Town Councillor Jennifer Bird predicted that the move could result in retail businesses closing.

Of the others:

Jon Mountfort amongst his website full of lies said:

They (HDC) will bankrupt our shops
We will lose the Thursday Market

Then there were the statements made on the Facebook site.

Well the charges haven't kill the shops. Trade hasn't been killed off by the introduction of a 20 pence an hour charge at the Riverside. Footfall may have risen by 1.3% after a fall of 3.6% in the previous year.

HDC was right to impose charges as there is a big hole in the revenue. Either the Council Taxpayer pays or the user. I'm for the user paying. As for killing trade this hasn't happened.

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