Local MP Alun Cairns has called on the Vale Council to abandon its plans to introduce car parking charges across the Vale.
Mr Cairns has said that at a time when shops are struggling to make ends meet, he finds it difficult for the Council to justify its plan. He points out that local shops are competing with supermarkets, who offer free parking.
Mr Cairns said, “The Vale Council must rethink. Each and every time parking proposals have been suggested they have always been recognised as being bad for town centres. Why do they think this is different this time?
“No matter how modest or not charges will be, they have broken the principle of free parking in our shopping areas. I have no doubt that if they claim that the charges are low, then I suggest that they are following a tactic just to introduce the principle of charging. I am confident that they will increase over time and become a cash-cow.
“When parking machines were not repaired in Cardigan, West Wales, the boost seen by local shops made UK news. There is an obvious message in this. People don’t like to pay for parking and will go elsewhere if they need to.
“Their plan to charge at Country Parks and on Barry Island all year round will kill off their winter trade. The Council also have a ‘Well-being’ policy to encourage activity amongst residents. Their plan will threaten the Barry Island Park run, that plays a major part in supporting health and fitness. The run starts at 9am and few are complete within an hour! It also attracts many visitors to the area – even from Billericay in our Gavin and Stacey run last year.
“The parking charges will have a catastrophic impact on workers reliant on car parks for their daily commute, whilst at the same time they have slashed support for buses. Their proposals would mean that they will pay over £1500 pounds a year in parking charges. Apprentices gaining career forming experience will have to pay nearly a quarter of their daily pay on parking charges.”
“My question to The Vale Council is why their own car park remains exempt from the charges whilst they impose hefty fees on local residents?”