Parking charges could come to Penarth town centre
11:55am Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
PARKING charges could be introduced in Penarth town centre.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council is considering implementing charges in centres across the Vale, as a way of tackling its “extremely challenging” budget situation.
Miles Punter, director of visible services and housing, said a number of options were being considered to generate income.
“The Vale of Glamorgan Council is one of very few local authorities that does not currently levy a charge for town centre car parking,” he said.
“Regrettably, the extremely challenging budgetary position that we and other councils are facing over the next few years has forced us to consider all income generation and cost reduction measures in order to best protect the core services that are most important to our residents.”
He also said the proposal could increase parking turnover, leading to more footfall for local traders.
“We are currently examining a range of car park charging options aimed at generating income, while also increasing parking turnover,” he added.
“A number of the council’s car parks, particularly those closest to our town centres, are used all day by commuters and shop workers, effectively reducing the short term parking available to shoppers and decreasing economic activity.
“We are acutely aware that any proposals to charge, and the intricacies of any charging regime, would have to take into account the economic impacts on the particular town centre concerned and be subject to the appropriate consultation arrangements and I can give an assurance that this will be the case before any charging scheme is introduced.”
Local traders and shoppers were divided over the idea.
Anne Hallett of Windsor Bookshop said: “As long as its reasonable and isn’t overpriced I’m all for it. If it means more turnover of parking spaces then great.”
Owner of Pro Health and Nutrition Mike Raikes said: “If it means traders and office workers are less likely to block up town centre spaces all day then it will be a good thing, but I would prefer just to have a parking warden who is busy and makes sure people are not abusing time slots for spaces.”
But others were less keen.
Stuart Merry, a partner at pet supplies shop Chris Capus, said it could be the end of Penarth Town Centre.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “It will be the death of some local traders.”
Ceri Mccann at Andrea’s Flower Boutique agreed.
“We have no flow of parking spaces at the moment but the parking wardens should sort that out, parking charges will cause murder if introduced,” she said.
“That is a step too far for me and I think people will boycott the town centre.
“Why would people pay £2 or whatever for a loaf of bread, a joint of meat or a bouquet of flowers, when they can park for free at Tesco and get all those things there.”
Local resident Jennifer Ingram, who was shopping in Glebe Street at the time, said she would be forced to do just that.
“It will just drive people like myself towards the big supermarkets,” she said.
“The Vale council want to worry about identifying a site to build a multi-storey car park in Penarth, not charging for the very few parking spaces there are.”
Mr Punter said – subject to the successful conclusion of all the pre-assessment work, including consultation – the earliest the local authority would be in a position to charge for car parking in town centres would be October 2013.