December 15, 2017

impact on city businesses From Salisbury Journal

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Parking restrictions have impact on city businesses From Salisbury Journal

IF John Glen (Postbag, October 30) had listened to the local business community he would have found that a great many have been vocalising their concerns ever since the parking charge increases were first implemented and the footfall fell.

Despite the campaigning by Cllr Ricky Rogers and the Salisbury Journal campaign that saw the reintroduction of a one hour parking charge the footfall has never recovered.

If John had listened to his constituents he would have heard from those who live outside of the city centre but within the radius of the park and ride sites that because they begrudge paying the high charges they prefer to drive to out of town places where cheap or free parking exists such as Amesbury, Wilton, Andover and Southampton, even though they will spend more in fuel costs.

He would also know that when local residents do choose to come into the city centre they either park in the residential roads and free car parking that does still remain and walk in or they stay for the absolute minimum of time whilst feeling annoyed that the machines fail to offer any change.

What surprises me most is that John Glen has not even listened to his fellow party members, for if he had I am sure that not only would they have told him that there are few people who have put in as much time and effort to understand the many issues around parking, but he would also have realised that as a city councillor I headed cheap jerseys up the parking committee that had full cross party support, with its recommendations going forward to Wiltshire Council.

He would realise that my aims and that of my fellow city councillors were all based on Wiltshire Council’s compromising criteria to be cost neutral.

As councillors we understand that the only way to help meet this criteria is to significantly reduce the short stay parking charges to not more than a 1 an hour to encourage people to stay in town for longer.

Among many other recommendations we are also aware that many visitors park for the limited three hours of short stay car parks then leave.

For a city that is so reliant on its tourist trade it is only right to allow visitors who might never return the ability to park for as long as they wish, thus the need to remove time restrictions.

John Glen ended his letter in support for keeping a status quo on parking by suggesting that my campaign would lead to either an increase in precept or a cut to the rural bus subsidies!

My aim and that of my fellow city councillors is to actually increase revenue over time by encouraging people to stay longer in the city not an easy proposition given Wiltshire Council’s stubborn attitude to a flawed policy and the damage that has been done over the last five years.

If John took the time to look a little closer to events going on around the constituency he would also note the new, taxpayer funded bus stops in Amesbury and Salisbury, he might even notice that the bus stations are closed, in fact he might even be pleased to hear that our main local bus operator has reduced its annual overheads and made a few bob by selling a couple of plots of land, which should in return reduce their level of subsidies.

On Monday Wiltshire Council went live with their proposed parking charges survey.

I actively encourage people to take the time to partake and have their say, even if you don’t expect to be listened to.

I AM very disappointed by Tom Corbin’s tone, his letter coming as it does only a week after one of his fellow Labour city councillors came to me to discuss building a cross party consensus on parking in the interests of Salisbury.

I also took the trouble to openly commend Cllr Corbin’s efforts to seek a solution on parking at a recent public meeting.

I believe it will be best for Salisbury if all political parties at all levels work together on parking for the good of the city, rather than arguing amongst ourselves and squandering our efforts on political point scoring. Other members of his party agree with me.

Effective politics is more complex than amplifying the words of those who shout loudest.

Knowledge is power and, if we want to put forward persuasive and viable solutions, we need to understand the current position fully.

We may raise more in parking revenue than any other part of Wiltshire but we are not the cash cow many people claim.

Taking into account the subsidies that keep our buses running, Salisbury is in the red by around half a million pounds a year and is actually subsidised by County Hall.

I am very aware of the opinions http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ of local business people, traders, residents and car drivers but I am also anxious to stand up for the poorest, who live nearby and rely on subsidised bus services to access the shops.

By simply railing against prices, we are in danger of pitting urban against rural and advocating a solution that risks impacting hardest upon the most vulnerable, making it more difficult for non drivers to access work and for elderly people to retain their independence.

I suggest a more radical and creative solution is required.

Time and again we are told that Salisbury is still paying the price of a park and ride scheme that has never paid its way.

Isn’t now the time to either make P work for us or seek ways to release ourselves from the loss making burden that some of the sites undoubtedly are so that money can be freed up to spend on the parking concessions we need and Salisbury residents demand.