Saturday, November 03, 2018

No to new parking charges in Cumbria

It has been reported that Cumbria County Council has been quietly considering the possibility of introducing new charges for parking on some streets in the county.

The Conservative group on the council is strongly opposed to this idea. It would damage the economy of our town centres, making life difficult for residents and shoppers alike and harming local businesses.

Conservative group leader on the county council, Councillor James Airey, said:

“It’s staggering that Cumbria’s Labour and Lib Dem County Council is once again considering introducing a charge to park on streets in Cumbria.

“In 2014, the same administration was forced to scrap similar proposals after widespread public and business anger.

“At a time when the council should be supporting our towns and villages to flourish and helping to ease pressure on family budgets, it is instead discussing plans to whack Cumbrians with more expense. This would be wrong for Cumbria and why we will be joining together with communities to demand that the idea be scrapped again.”

I agree with James. The last thing that Whitehaven Town Centre and the other shopping centres in Cumbria need is to make it ever more difficult for customers and employees of local businesses to park, and inevitably such proposals will hit residents as well. Even if you try to exempt local residents from the charges, what happens in practice is that displaced shoppers find places to park which impact on residents.

Furthermore, the forecasts of alleged financial benefits quoted by those who advocate the scheme look distinctly dodgy to me. They don't seem to be based on sound and robust assumptions about how many, shoppers, employees or other people who would otherwise park in the metered areas may be displaced to other parts of the same town, use other modes of transport, or not come in to town at all.

Conservatives have launched an online petition against the proposals for new on-street parking charges which you can sign here.

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