- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Local AM Joyce Watson has written to Pembrokeshire Council on behalf of local businesses to express her concerns about the new on-street parking enforcement scheme.
After complaints made to her by small Pembrokeshire businesses, she has written to ask the Council to refine its policy to ensure that all villages should have affordable options for people to visit their town centre for a few minutes to make small purchases. She has also asked for a breakdown of the costs involved, and has asked them to listen to local residents and look at loosening restrictions on evening parking.
Mrs Watson said:
“I am seeking answers to complaints I have received, which claim that Pembrokeshire’s new parking regime is having a damaging effect on small town centre businesses.
“We all have our part to play – people should park sensibly, legally and considerately, but the Council should take a measured approach to this.
“I believe the council should tackle problem parkers but also ensure that each town and village centre has free or affordable provision for people calling in for ten minutes to buy a newspaper.
“Many of the county’s towns and villages have many double yellow lines in their centres. Anyone wanting to stop briefly to drop a letter in a post box or call in on a relative who lives in a town centre terrace now runs the risk of being fined by enthusiastic wardens, even in the evenings. People have also complained about limited disabled parking options.
“Small businesses may struggle if people cannot park to use local shops such as bakers and florists. Many people will go to out of town supermarkets, thus damaging our town and village centres more.
“Some local businesses have complained of approximately 30% drops in takings, while a butcher in Narberth claims that, after the first week of the parking enforcement, his takings dropped by 60%.
“I understand the council has 14 new uniformed officers with hand held computers issuing penalties, in new white vans, which must be costly.
“This over-zealous approach runs the risk of driving companies out of business.
“I believe these actions are disproportionate and ill judged, and will hit a whole range of people hard, but particularly our small local town centre businesses at a time when they are suffering the effects of the economic downturn.
“As someone who previously ran a business in Pembrokeshire I know the impact that this sort of deterrent can have.”
Joyce has offered to meet local traders to discuss this further.
The Council has invited responses on parking issues, saying that they want to know where and when there are problems with on street parking. They invite emails to [email protected] http://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/content.asp?nav=838,1695,1830&parent_directory_id=646