In 2012 Great Yarmouth Borough Council raised £296,000 in parking charges but this figure has more than tripled in recent years to £935,000 in 2017.
Our Council must do better when it comes to enticing people to visit and shop in our Borough. Councils like nearby Breckland already have free parking in places like Attleborough, Dereham, Swaffham and Thetford and this sees a cost of around £190,000.
We believe bearing the cost of removing parking charges would be a much better use of money than experimenting with such ideas as paying for new shop fronts which do little, if anything, to help increase footfall. This will also aid local residents whom currently have to pay to park for work or to shop, particularly when Councils and the Government are already trying to squeeze as much money as possible from us.
At a time when many local businesses are struggling – coupled with the fact that the town centre has to compete with the likes of free out of town parking at the Gapton Hall retail park – the Council should be actively considering all options when it comes to removing obstacles that will ultimately help business thrive. A bold move like this will help to put more money into local business. More money into local businesses is good for our local economy and will also benefit those that are not “destination stores” who rely on passing trade coming in and browsing.
Completely removing parking charges is an aspiration for Tribune, however there are other steps that can be taken in the lead up to this that will help local business prosper.
You will hear more on this issue from Tribune in the future.
Why not share your own ideas for how to increase footfall in the town centre? Find out about our upcoming event here
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