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Friday, 29 May 2015

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Barrow traders unite against parking plan

A LONG-STANDING trader has put their business up for sale as opposition continues to mount against plans for controversial on-street parking charges.

CONCERNS Local traders and representatives from Barrow businesses meet on Cavendish Street HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50066455B005

Barrow Traders’ Association has questioned how the meters will generate the money that cash-strapped Cumbria County Council says they will. And other business owners not affiliated with the BTA gathered in the town centre yesterday to express their opposition.

It comes after the Barrow local committee of the county council agreed to open a consultation over proposals to put £1.50 per hour parking meters in sections of 12 streets. Traders’ association chairman Stuart Groundwater revealed a fellow trader had decided to put their business on the market, but the person did not want to reveal their name for fear it will devalue their asset.

The parking meters scheme was voted in as part of the county council’s budget to save £24.4m following a fourth year of government funding cuts which mean it is losing one pound in every four it receives to spend on services.

The proposed £1.50 fee has been set to encourage motorists to use the cheaper car parks, which cost £1.30 an hour, and help reduce congestion. But Mr Groundwater claimed: “My understanding of how parking meters earn revenue is that they are placed in areas of convenience parking in busy areas. So I imagine this works in dense town centres and cities. Barrow does not have these issues. In fact, it has massively underused paid car parks and a declined footfall.

“I would imagine the only people using the suggested meters, if this goes ahead, will be people from out of town who are not familiar with Barrow. What a great way to welcome visitors and encourage them back? Most of the proposed meters are positioned by car parks. So why would you pay extra to park in the same location? The only reason the parking bays are used regularly is because they are free. It would be encouraging for our town to make a stance and say no to parking meters.”

Customers have been signing petitions as part of the Evening Mail-backed campaign for the meters plan to be scrapped, with up to 40 firms showing their support and almost 2,000 further signatures registered, on top of the near-1,000 collected by campaigners in the town centre.

Mandy Evans, co-owner of Reef and Studio 82 clothes shops, gathered fellow opponents yesterday.

She said: “There’s a universal feeling among traders and every customer we speak to that it will hit the town centre and shoppers hard.”

Have your say

Have this Council got No heart at all ? Love Barrow ? They are a disgrace to our community, If they will do this to our local traders, what hope have we the public in general got, absolutely None !

Posted by Wally! on 6 August 2014 at 19:42

i think cars should be banned from that street for good it`s getting dangerous especially cars coming out of the side roads i think these shop owners should think themselfs lucky they still run a business in these days

Posted by paul on 6 August 2014 at 18:34

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