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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Ulverston traders vent fury at ‘threat’ of new meters

ULVERSTON could be next on the hit list for on-street parking meters, a leading Cumbrian politician has claimed.

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CLLR JAMES AIREY

The town could be targeted as early as next year if a first wave of charges in Barrow, Ambleside, Windermere and Bowness go ahead, according to the leader of the Conservatives on Cumbria County Council.

Traders in Ulverston have reacted angrily to the possibility of a new payment system being introduced in the area – branding any such move as “ivory tower thinking”.

Councillor James Airey said: “This isn’t just about Barrow or Ambleside. It’s just the beginning. It will be Ulverston next year until every market town in this area will end up with meters on their streets. This would be one measure too far for a lot of shops and businesses.

“We need to do whatever we can to stop these proposals.”

The devices are set to be installed in town centre streets in Barrow and Ambleside, as well as nine other centres in Cumbria, from September.

However, county council leader Councillor Stewart Young said his mandate for the introduction of on-street fees did not extend past the 11 areas already named and nominated.

He said: “Adding more towns would be a future budget matter for full council. We don’t have any plans to roll this out anywhere else.”

Ulverston businessman David Gummers, who owns F Dickinson Footwear, described the possibility of on-street parking fees in Ulverston as “nonsensical”.

He said: “Are they trying to kill off the town centres? It’s just absolutely nonsensical, it’s ivory tower thinking.

“What will happen eventually in places like Barrow, where there are something like 65 empty shops, is they will all become flats and the same thing will happen in Ulverston.”

Ulverston Traders Association chief, Ralph Spours said: “We have enough trouble as it is without all that rubbish. We’ve now got the market right with the road closures, but parking is and always will be the major obstruction to the town flourishing.”

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