Rob Simmons has just blogged about parking problems in penzance here.
While I was out talking to people in Illogan yesterday, several people commented on the lunatic new charging regimes for Redruth.
Until recently you could park in Redruth's main car park for an hour and it would cost 50p.
Because of policies of centralisation and suburbanisation imposed by Westminster and carried out by successive councils in Cornwall, Redruth is only an echo of the vibrant community centre that it once was.
Realistically, these days, the range of shops and services that are available in Redruth mean that people only 'pop in' to Redruth as a matter of convenience. perhaps to vist the bank or post office or one of the more specialist shops the town has to offer. Generally people do not go to Redruth to spend time indulging in 'retail therapy'.
One resident of Illogan wrote to Cornwall council because the minimum charge to park has gone up to £1 from 50p. Granted you can now park for up to 2 hours - but then who would really need to. The elederly lady in question despairs at this extra tax on top of all the other tax increases and service cuts that she is facing and she wrote to the council to complain.
Aparrently the reason that the council have changed the charging structure is to encourage people to spend longer in Redruth.
Absolute nonsense when you think about it. You don't encourage people to spend more time just by making them pay for a longer parking slot. You encourage them to stay by providing the shops and services that people want and by providing the conditions for entreprenneurs to be able to do this.
When the council began looking at the carparking charging schemes Mebyon Kernow asked questions of the council and asked them to conduct a thorough economic impact assesment. Of course, this never happened and Alec Robertson's arrogant cabinet went ahead with new schemes in an attempt to milk the cash cow of car parking for all it was worth. How much have revenues increased since then (or have they actually dropped) and how mny people have been discouraged to visit our local town centres. Instead they have been herded to the out of town centres and supermarkets with their free parking advantage?
Far from getting people to stay longer in Redruth this misguided scheme will discourages people from visting Redruth at all. Thank you Cornwall Council.