Why the welcome u-turn on free parking?
31/01/2017 17:05:00......Posted by Mario Creatura
I've sent the below question to the Council for an answer, I'll update this blog as soon as I receive one:
At the last Council meeting you announced a very welcome u-turn to restore 1-hour free parking in district centres.
A year ago when you announced you were cutting the free parking the six Coulsdon councillors, the GLA member for Croydon and Sutton and the Member of Parliament wrote extensively to ask you to reconsider.
We collected over 1,000 signatures with both local businesses and residents writing to you and your predecessor to beg you to reconsider an action that they believed would harm the local community.
I asked CQ010-16 at the time:
'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 your 'Ambitious for Croydon' manifesto.
You have announced that you will be breaking this manifesto promise and reducing the free parking on Brighton Road in Coulsdon from 1 hour to 30 mins.
Why have you done this?'
Your predecessor, Cllr Bee, replied:
'We have now had time to review the impact of this commitment and now know that this wouldn’t offer the best use of our parking bays. We have aligned Coulsdon with the rest of the borough to ensure fairness and consistency by offering 30 minutes free parking. This will encourage turnover of parking bays which is more beneficial to the local businesses.'
You endorsed these comments verbally when I and other councillors challenged them at a subsequent Traffic Management Committee meeting.
My question is: what's changed? Has new evidence come to light that turnover is not encouraged by 30 minutes free parking? If so, please provide it.
Why did you not listen to the weight of public opinion a year ago and save Coulsdon businesses and residents from a years worth of what you're now admitting was unnecessary struggle?