Park and dismay

PUBLISHED: 17:36 10 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:21 04 May 2010

PARKING FEE: The car park behind the Somerfield store in Buntingford, where charges are set to be introduced.

PARKING FEE: The car park behind the Somerfield store in Buntingford, where charges are set to be introduced.

CAR PARKING fees set to be introduced in Buntingford could have a detrimental effect on the towns businesses and young people, according to a ­councillor. At a meeting of East Herts District Council being held tonight (Wednesday), councillors will vote o

CAR PARKING fees set to be introduced in Buntingford could have a detrimental effect on the towns' businesses and young people, according to a ­councillor.

At a meeting of East Herts District Council being held tonight (Wednesday), councillors will vote on a proposal to introduce charges of 40 pence per hour in ­Buntingford's car parks.

Stan Bull, district councillor for Buntingford, said: "I am not very pleased with the prospect of car parking charges.

"What particularly ­concerns me is the impact this could have on the town's young people and ­businesses.

"We have a lot of youngsters who work in Buntingford and only get paid the minimum wage.

"Many of them use the car parks every day, so any charges will have a big effect on their daily lives.

"There are also the shops to consider, and we must ensure they can all keep their heads above water because Buntingford needs a bubbling high street.

"I'm a bit disappointed the town council hasn't been consulted about this."

However, Cllr Bull added that he believed the ­proposed charges could also have a positive impact.

"I know that a lot of people just leave their cars in the car parks because they are free, then travel out of the town, so it's possible that putting charging in place may free up some spaces," he said.

Buntingford is one of only two places in East Hertfordshire, along with Stanstead Abbotts, to still offer free parking.

If the charges are approved, they are expected to come into force in April.

Mike Carver, executive member for planning policy and transport at East Herts District Council, said: "These are facilities which need to be maintained and managed.

"In addition Buntingford high street benefits from parking controls, and this all costs money.

"It's right that motorists in those towns share the costs, rather than the burden all falling on the district's other towns.

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