Council’s plan to introduce parking charges gets a very lukewarm response

Parking is a real issue in Biggleswade town centre. Picture: Danny Loo

Parking is a real issue in Biggleswade town centre. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

There has been a cool response to Biggleswade Town Council’s proposals to introduce parking charges for town centre car parks for stays over one hour.

The council announced last week it is opening a consultation on charging at its five car parks to try to ensure they are managed more effectively and there is more space available for shoppers who want to use the town centre.

There will also be a system of permits for residents and town centre staff.

Parking space in the town is at a premium as the population grows with the increase in new housing and commuting from the town.

People commented on the Comet’s story announcing the charges.

Teresa Austin posted: “Once the lazy commuters park to get the trains there’s no parking left anyway.”

Kirsty Harrison said: “I think it would be better to have a two-hour free parking limit, but I’m not against the idea in principle.”

Julie Archer Brazier added: “Do they want to kill the town off completely? That’s ridiculous. NO to paying to park, YES to restrictions to two hours like Asda do.”

Stephen James Timbers said: “I think this is a very bad idea that will only serve to ‘shake things up a bit’ without actually addressing the fundamental problem of the lack of town centre parking in general. Unless a credible plan is implemented to help commuters who work in the town, they will only add to the parking pressures already put on residential streets from train commuters.

“For pity’s sake Central Beds – address the real problem and build a multi-storey multi-purpose car park in the town centre, instead of approving yet more flats!”

Christopher Jack added a different perspective, saying: “I appreciate it’s not ideal but some commuters will need to visit areas of London one day, you’ll then realise just how reasonable these proposed charges are. In most places you’d be talking more than the maximum here, per hour there. And I don’t mean central London either, where you’d be talking several times the maximum here, per hour there.”

If the response to a 28-day consultation is satisfactory, the changes will come into effect in the first half of 2018.

The town council has long felt there needs to be more parking available to attract shoppers to the town centre and is negotiating with Central Beds on the issue.

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