Over 1,000 residents oppose Labour's plans to cut free parking in Coulsdon
08/03/2016 09:09:00......Posted by Mario Creatura
A few weeks ago, local Conservative councillors in Coulsdon launched a petition to oppose our Labour Council’s plan to break their manifesto promise and cut free parking in Coulsdon.
'To support our local economies, our district centres will offer free parking for the first hour. This will not only make shopping easier for residents but will also support our local traders in difficult times.'
These words can be found on page 15 of Labour's 'Ambitious for Croydon' manifesto.
Labour have announced that at the Traffic Management Advisory Committee on 26th April, they intend to approve the reduction of free parking on Brighton Road in Coulsdon from 1 hour to 30 mins.
As well as this the Council has decided to increase parking charges. For example, on the 2-Hour tariff in Coulsdon the cost of staying the full 2 hours has gone from £1.80 to £2.40.
Our petition was submitted to the Council last night with 631 residents supporting it.
The local Residents’ Associations are fully behind this work and have themselves collected a further 573 individual letters of objection.
In total that means 1,203 residents have objected using these two channels alone. Many more have written directly to the Council parking planners. Here are just a few of the comments residents have left:
- ‘I love Coulsdon town and regularly shop there. In order to enjoy the shops and services we need the one hour parking. Don't make our town a wasteland of charity shops and estate agents like Purley. We need this parking for it to survive and thrive.’
- ‘I feel that it will cause increased hardship to small local traders who are already struggling to keep their businesses going if the free parking is reduced from one hour. It also lowers any trust we might have in manifesto promises if they are broken so easily.’
- ‘Since Labour have taken over Croydon we have already had a loss of facilities at Smitham, garden waste (huge) charges and now a reduction in free parking. On top of that Croydon council is proposing to increase council tax charges by 3.99%. The council is doing nothing at all to help shoppers, traders and visitors to Coulsdon and footfall will continue to decrease as a result of their actions. New businesses will not want to open in this town. There is clearly no desire from the council to assist this small town. Shame on the governing bodies!’
- ‘This victimisation of Coulsdon must stop, Croydon Council seem bent on destroying local businesses, and making life harder for residents.’
- ‘Politicians shouldn't make promises if they don't plan to keep them - fundamentally dishonest.’
- ‘You say you want people to shop local and do their bit for local businesses but you give us no incentive and it's things like removing essential parking that will turn Coulsdon into a ghost town requested by the wrong sort of 'locals'. You could stop sending out useless mailshots to keep some of your funds.’
- ‘It is almost impossible to visit ONE shop & return to my car in half an hour with 2 small kids. People who live in Coulsdon are shopping elsewhere due to parking issues & I may have to join them which would be a real shame!’
- ‘Commit to the promises you have made! Otherwise you have no credibility.’
- ‘I cannot understand why Croydon Council want to make it increasingly difficult for local people to support local traders with lousy parking and extortionate charges.’
- ‘Making promises and breaking them is a given where politicians are concerned. There is a lack of integrity and honesty in most political manifestos underlining why most of the public have no trust for any politicians. But something this straightforward and reasonable, to maintain 1 hour free parking, is a simple undertaking to maintain, and by ignoring a promise within 12 months of an election, thereby failing to support local traders as promised, is clear indication that where morality and ethics should apply, there is a complete and abhorrent vacuum.’
- ‘I have worked in Coulsdon for 40 - 50 years and know the area well. One hour free parking is essential for the success of so many businesses in the area. Those areas of business that require their customers to have appointments of 30 minutes or more desperately need a 1 hour slot. If you want Coulsdon to thrive listen to what the workers, the shoppers and the residents are telling you.’
- ‘How can we have any faith in our elected council leaders if they break their manifesto promise?’
- ‘I have two young children and require the use of a pushchair in order to get around with my children. It takes me a good 10 minutes to get the children in and out of the car. This leaves me 10 mins free to get to a shop and buy something to include a queue. This is unrealistic. I have to go to Caterham to do my shopping rather than my local high street in order to shop. Caterham offer free parking.’
If you want to help add further pressure on the Council to see sense and honour their manifesto pledge, you can write to the local papers using firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or come along to the Traffic Management committee and make your voices heard in person: 26th April, 6.30pm in Croydon Town Hall.