Campaigners petition against cuts to free parking in North Herts

A PETITION against a council’s proposal to introduce evening, weekend and bank holiday parking charges in North Herts has attracted more than 1,000 signatures.

Community campaigner Terry Hutt was out in Hitchin, Letchworth GC, Baldock and Royston collecting signatures from residents.

He’s campaigning because North Herts District Council (NHDC) wants to implement parking charges on bank holidays, with potential to introduce charges during evenings and weekends at a later date also.

Mr Hutt presented the petition at the NHDC offices, where he was joined by fellow campaigner Clive Porter.

“The response was fantastic. People were actually queuing up to sign this petition,” said Mr Hutt.

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“I think I must have covered the area within a day-and-a-half, so those 1,000 signatures were within quite a short space of time.

“I found there was a very strong feeling within the district. When people were signing the petition, they were so angry, and some were shaking and swearing. They are really unhappy at the thought of losing this concession.

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“It’s outrageous and impractical. Businesses will suffer and some will close and that is so unfair.”

NHDC reiterated that charges for Sundays and evenings would be set at zero under the new orders, and that each car park would have to be reviewed individually and consulted on before introducing any charges.

“We have just finished a consultation on the proposed changes to our car park charges, and I am grateful to all those who contacted us, including those who organised petitions. All the comments we received are now being reviewed,” said Cllr Tom Brindley, NHDC portfolio holder for planning, transport and enterprise.

“On bank holidays, the proposed charges are designed to help free up short-term spaces for people that want to use local shops and services which are currently being filled by long-term partners. “One of the council’s priorities is to improve the vitality of our town centres. As we review parking charges throughout the district, we will continue to have the needs or residents and local businesses uppermost in our minds.”

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