If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
In an ideal world parking charges would be cut
11:16am Thursday 5th September 2013 in Letters
IN response to a couple of opinion pieces from Annie Riddle over the last few weeks. My position on parking is that the charges are too high, and I have argued at every opportunity that they should be lowered.
In an ideal world it would be an easy problem to solve; we could reduce charges through trial and error to a level the public finds acceptable, but not to the level where we created congestion and more pollution.
Sadly, we don’t live in an ideal world.
Wiltshire Council has seen government funding cut by nearly 30 per cent in the last couple of years, and we have another £120m to ‘save’, a position which places great strain on our finances.
Like most councils in the UK, Wiltshire makes money from parking charges, which is used to support public transport, primarily subsidised bus services. As a rural county we need to ensure bus services are provided from our villages to allow people who don’t have or can’t afford cars to live in them.
The question of whether we would see an increase in revenue if charges were reduced is an interesting one. All the previous evidence, with the exception of the last couple of years, is that increases in charges have resulted in an increase in revenue, and reductions in charges to a reduction in revenue.
Clearly the more recent increase in charges has resulted in a decrease in revenue from some car parks, but there has been an increase in park and ride, which is important for the future of parking in the city.
This does raise the question of whether we would see an increase in revenue if we reduced charges or whether it is the national economic situation that has caused the decrease.
I have asked Wiltshire officers in charge of parking for an analysis of the evidence and will make sure the discussion around charges takes place again.
We are committed to review parking charges in 2014 and have guaranteed that charges will not rise. It is important that we understand the views of the public.
We need to find a solution that sees charges reduced while retaining vital bus services, and any ideas that can help achieve that would be extremely useful.
RICHARD CLEWER, Wiltshire Councillor St Paul’s Ward Salisbury
Comments are closed on this article.