NEWPORT PARKING: 4,000 sign but traders’ call for talks unanswered

South Wales Argus: BACKING CAMPAIGN: Sue Williams of the Elbow Rooms hairdressing salon in Newport city centre has been collecting signatures for our petiton to keep city parking free BACKING CAMPAIGN: Sue Williams of the Elbow Rooms hairdressing salon in Newport city centre has been collecting signatures for our petiton to keep city parking free

OUR campaign to Keep City Parking Free has now been supported by more than 4,000 people.

Exactly two weeks ago today we launched our campaign urging Newport City Council to reverse its decision to axe two hours’ free parking in its city centre car parks.

Since then traders have expressed their concerns about the plans on a daily basis, explaining that this is one blow too many in these tough economic times.

The only response we have had from the council is a statement from cabinet member for infrastructure Ken Critchley, describing the scheme as “unsustainable”.

He said: “Free parking costs the council almost £1 million a year, which is no longer sustainable at a time when central budgets are facing significant cuts and we face a funding gap next year of £8 million.

“To continue to offer free parking would adversely impact on other services such as street cleaning, waste collection and road repairs.”

However, as we explained last week, these figures don’t quite stack up.

The council calculates the £1 million lost revenue figure by using figures from 2010 prior to two hours’ free parking being brought in, and 2011, the first year of the scheme, and working out the difference in revenue.

But the new charge of £1 for up to three hours is half the price of a two-hour stay in 2010 and a third of the price of a three-hour stay, meaning the council is unlikely to recoup even close to the 2010 figure.

The lack of consultation has particularly upset traders, whose call for a public meeting, published on day two of our campaign, has not been answered.

Comments (4)

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12:24pm Thu 13 Dec 12

YazPad-But says...

This 'campaign' has been running a fortnight to my knowledge and so far considering there's approx. 150,000 people in Newport a massive less than 3% have signed. What does this tell you? The other 97% are shopping in Cwmbran or Spytty Park. Short term free parking is just too little too late. Until the council share out subsidies given to the ever multiplying number of charity shops, to regular traders they simply cannot compete. It is human nature to be a creature of habit, people are in the habit of shopping elsewhere as there's little point in going into the 'city' (always be a town to me). It'll take more than free short term parking to generate footfall and regenerate the TOWN. Simply, too little, too late.
This 'campaign' has been running a fortnight to my knowledge and so far considering there's approx. 150,000 people in Newport a massive less than 3% have signed. What does this tell you? The other 97% are shopping in Cwmbran or Spytty Park. Short term free parking is just too little too late. Until the council share out subsidies given to the ever multiplying number of charity shops, to regular traders they simply cannot compete. It is human nature to be a creature of habit, people are in the habit of shopping elsewhere as there's little point in going into the 'city' (always be a town to me). It'll take more than free short term parking to generate footfall and regenerate the TOWN. Simply, too little, too late. YazPad-But

9:26am Fri 14 Dec 12

areyour4real says...

Why are they putting so much effort into telling everyone not to bother with Newport?

If these people put time into a positive campaign they might make a difference instead of ruining it for themselves and sending everyone to Cwmbran.

They are killing Newport with the help of SWA.

Well done for getting 4000 people to never shop in Newport again, hope you are proud!
Why are they putting so much effort into telling everyone not to bother with Newport? If these people put time into a positive campaign they might make a difference instead of ruining it for themselves and sending everyone to Cwmbran. They are killing Newport with the help of SWA. Well done for getting 4000 people to never shop in Newport again, hope you are proud! areyour4real

12:10am Sat 15 Dec 12

D Taylor says...

Coudn't agree more. Just another pointless Argus campaign. When we start complaining about paying a quid to park we have really hit rock bottom.
Coudn't agree more. Just another pointless Argus campaign. When we start complaining about paying a quid to park we have really hit rock bottom. D Taylor

3:59pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Gooding says...

Council has run the town down, not the Argus. Scrapping the free parking is a disappointing and short sighted approach from council members who don't understand simple economics. The current council are a wee bit thick!
Council has run the town down, not the Argus. Scrapping the free parking is a disappointing and short sighted approach from council members who don't understand simple economics. The current council are a wee bit thick! Gooding

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