Parking the hot topic at next Save Royston Town Centre meeting

PUBLISHED: 11:58 06 November 2014 | UPDATED: 11:58 06 November 2014

Julian Cunningham.

Julian Cunningham.

Archant

Parking will be the hot topic at the next Save Royston Town Centre meeting on Monday.

If a trial parking scheme in Hitchin is implemented and successful, an overnight charge at council-owned car parks from 6pm-8am, a Sunday charge, and increased prices in the daytime could be introduced into Royston town centre.

Clive Porter, who organised the meeting, said: “I consider any future pressures on motorists in Royston will completely destroy the evening and Sunday trading. The district council has virtually wiped the daytime business, now it wants to mop up the rest of the trading time.

“Most of the people I have spoken to are against the idea with some stating that they wouldn’t bother coming into town.”

Murat Duyar, owner of Moreno’s Cafe in Angel Pavement, said: “The changes in times for Sunday would certainly affect my trade.”

No decision has yet been taken on the ‘Hitchin trial’ while North Herts District Council evaluate responses from Hitchin Iniative and discuss scenarios. The final decision on the trial will be made at a cabinet meeting on November 24.

Councillor Julian Cunningham, who is responsible for transport issues at NHDC, said: “The council’s parking strategy requires that we consult with town centre managers and area committees before bringing it into force. It is possible that local circumstances might militate against such an introduction.

“The principle underlying the logic of charging for evening and Sunday parking is that it is not unreasonable to charge those using council assets for the use of those assets and the increased maintenance costs associated with this activity.

“In general terms the council’s overall parking revenues over a period are cost neutral and while off street parking generally shows a small surplus, on street parking revenues show a deficit.

“It is an important part of our parking strategy that we maximise turnover in on-street locations and thus we need the income from off street parking charges to enable us to properly discharge this function.”

The meeting is at 5.30pm at Hogg’s Cafe in the Corn Exchange, Royston, and a council representative has promised to be there.

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