'Relax parking regime' plea from town forum

PUBLISHED: 10:53 02 February 2006 | UPDATED: 14:35 12 May 2010

Geraint Burnell

Geraint Burnell

PARKING in Royston town centre should be more relaxed," says a report from the Royston Town Centre Forum. The report was due to be discussed last night (Wednesday) by members of North Herts District Council's Royston area committee. It was compiled after

PARKING in Royston town centre should be more "relaxed," says a report from the Royston Town Centre Forum. The report was due to be discussed last night (Wednesday) by members of North Herts District Council's Royston area committee. It was compiled after town centre manager Geraint Burnell spoke to traders and was armed with a survey carried out by the Royston and District Chamber of Commerce. The survey said that 51 per cent of traders reported a drop in sales during a 12-month period and that nine out of 22 suggested that this was due to issues related to parking. In his report Mr Burnell said: "What is not required is to maintain a parking regime that alienates customers by significantly penalising them for a misdemeanour." He said such an attitude is "undermining" the appeal of the town centre. The report suggested that there should be a "light touch" when re-implementing parking controls in Royston. "The parking regime in Royston needs to be relaxed with the aim of stimulating the town centre economy," said the report. The report suggested: n The Market Place, Angel Pavement and Priory Memorial Gardens car parks should offer parking rebates in the same manner as currently implemented in the Somerfield car park. Research indicates that probably 50 per cent of retailers would participate in such a scheme. In addition, a maximum two-hour stay for Angel Pavement. - The small car park at the end of John Street should offer free one-hour parking - thereby increasing one-hour spaces available in the town centre by 60 per cent. - The need to introduce a convenience system for regular users where some kind of bulk purchase option which encourages shoppers to simply turn up, park in a chargeable space, place a pre-purchased ticket in the window and shop for a couple of hours. - The Warren and civic centre car parks should be converted to pay-on-exit. In a High Street survey, traders believed that 20 minutes parking was "cutting it tight" for shoppers. Mr Burnell adds in the report: "It is vitally important that all local representative bodies are seen to act effectively to tackle this issue.

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