Plan for parking charges
PUBLISHED: 11:58 29 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:43 06 May 2010
COUNCILLORS are expecting a rough ride over possible plans to introduce town centre car parking charges. Members of Sandy Town Council s planning, parks and open spaces committee met on Monday night and unanimously voted to form a working group to lay the
COUNCILLORS are expecting a rough ride over possible plans to introduce town centre car parking charges.
Members of Sandy Town Council's planning, parks and open spaces committee met on Monday night and unanimously voted to form a working group to lay the foundations for a pay and display system in the car park which could come into force by the end of the summer.
Committee chairman Cllr Nigel Aldis said a pay and display system was the only way to rid the car park of being continually clogged up every day by commuters and workers.
The council wants to open up the car park for shoppers who are currently forced to park a long way from shops in side streets.
"We are looking at all the implications and options of charging for parking in the town centre," said Cllr Aldis.
"Obviously many members of the chamber of trade are against the plan but we feel something positive has to be done to free up parking spaces for people who want to come into the town and shop.
"Businesses say they might suffer because workers would have nowhere to park for free. But we have got to think how we can open up the car park for shoppers who are important to the success of shops in the town centre."
Cllr Aldis added: "The car park is being clogged up by commuters who are parking for free and then walking to the station instead of parking there and paying.
"The car park is not for commuters. It is for shoppers and people on business in the town centre.
"There are currently 85 spaces in the car park but most days there are around 120 cars jammed in there. Commuters are not contributing to the economy of the town centre so something has got to be done to sort this problem out and pay and display would obviously deter them from parking there."
But the plans were criticised by chairman of the Sandy Chamber of Trade and local hairdresser Sandra Jones who said: "I am totally against parking charges. You can't expect a shop worker to spend £5 a day on parking.
"The car park has been there for 30 years which was when the population of Sandy was 3,000. Today the population is 14,000 so more thought should have been given about long term parking in the town centre for workers.
"Paying for parking will just drive workers and commuters to park their cars in streets."
It has been estimated that having up to 40 all-day parking spots could generate an income of around £5,000 a year but there are fears pushing cars out of the car park could see congestion on residential roads with commuters and workers seeking free parking elsewhere.
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