Parking rise

SIR - I refer to the letter from Councillor Sharon Taylor regarding the council s justification to the increased car park fees in Stevenage. The only reason for money being spent on new control equipment is so the council could introduce different pay st

SIR - I refer to the letter from Councillor Sharon Taylor regarding the council's justification to the increased car park fees in Stevenage.

The only reason for money being spent on new control equipment is so the council could introduce different pay structures and increase the fees. The old system was working well before the chip machines were introduced. In fact it is easier to lose the chip than it is coins.

She says the council is continually investing in its car parks - can she provide details of revenue raised and spent on the car parks? I bet the former is higher than the latter!

Furthermore she says the car parks are safer, however it was only a month ago that my car was vandalised with scratches put down one side of the car at an expense of £300 for a re-spray - oh I made enquiries but the CCTV was not working and I park at my own risk, paying for the privilege in doing so.

She says she wants to encourage me to use the buses, all very well but they do not run early enough in the morning, are not that frequent and would add a lot of time to my journey after stopping along the way. I do use the buses daily in London, so I would use them here if it was a viable alternative.

Additionally the changes to the charges were displayed and notices affixed to each machine, I am sure all of one day before being implemented. Is this adequate time for people to make alternative arrangements?

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I do not understand why the council would want to discourage people using the other long stay car parks as after all they are called long stay and if I am going shopping at the weekend I stay in the short stay car parks.

The railway station car park, after being reduced in size, does get full quite quickly. However this was priced higher so that if you wanted the convenience of not having to walk a little to the railway station you paid a higher price. I can understand this pay structure but it is not like this now as the long stay car parks are the same price if you are going to stay over ten hours, as most commuters do.

The council knows I do not have a choice as a commuter and put the fees up knowing I have to pay them. The other choice is to park on the roads near Bedwell but I like to be considerate to the residents as I know I would be unhappy if someone parked outside my house all day, so I pay the £5.30 a day with great reluctance and help fill the council coffers!

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