I am calling on Flintshire County Council to reconsider their decision to re-introduce car parking charges from 1 October 2021.
Car parking charges were originally suspended by the Council at the start of the pandemic in order to assist key workers and encourage footfall for businesses operating in town centres, and indeed footfall has increased. A decision a welcomed.
The support local retailers and businesses have received from the local community because of parking charge suspension has been invaluable and credit must go to the Council for taking this step to support retailers who have faced incredibly difficult conditions.
However, although parking charges cannot be indefinitely suspended, their imminent reintroduction as of 1 October does not appear to consider wider issues, nor does it consider alternative options that may be more appropriate.
Re-introducing car parking charges has the potential to deter shoppers from visiting their local town centres, which while in turn adversely affect high street shops who rely on footfall.
Alternative proposals I have suggested for consideration include:
- Introducing charges on a part-time basis. For example, introducing charges only at peak times, such as on market days, while on day to day basis have no charge so that shoppers can be encouraged to visit their town centres.
- Alternatively, the opposite could also be implemented, charging on weekdays but not on weekends when the vast majority of people would tend to visit their local high streets.
- Increasing public transport to and from town centres, which will combat the issue of congestion while at the same time ensure local people can visit their town centres, helping businesses that rely on their footfall.