When I go shopping I look for a bargain, I feel a sense of achievement when i manage to save myself a couple of pounds off the price tag. We all know quite often the best way to save is buying on the internet, a click shop is usually cheaper than a brick shop.
Unfortunately the internet is taking some stick for this, some people blame the ‘death of the high street’ and the closure of local shops on the availability of cheap goods online. Not me.
I think the problem is closer to home, slowly but surely the streets and roads are becoming less accessible. I’m talking about permit parking, no waiting zones and parking meters. Recently a friend of mine bought a new property for him and his partner, the house came with 1x parking permit and the option to buy extra at a cost of £100. That’s right for the privilege to park outside his own house he has to pay £100. I won’t even go into the hassle he had to go through to get the permit, I think they did spare him the DNA test though. This means no parking in his road without a permit, so when I go round, unless he pays for my temporary parking I have to park several roads away and pay at a meter.
Street by street, road by road we are being forced to pay to visit the local shops, I don’t begrudge paying for parking. I think it is necessary, as mentioned by Paul in an earlier blog it pays for all manner of things after all parking is not a free business. However I do begrudge paying multi-story prices on the street. There is nothing safe and secure about street parking, the few CCTV cameras that exist are not watching my car they are watching the junctions and traffic lights.
So why the big price tag? Well some argue that with recent shortfalls in councils budgets the easy way to pick it up is through parking. I’m not sure I totally agree with that statement and I would hope it’s not true. A recent survey reported that one council increased its charges by 66% to deter drivers from parking in overcrowded streets.
I think we need to think again, extortionate inner city parking charges will have an effect on the shops, it may not kill them all, but enough to cause knock on effect to the multi story car parks.
If there were fewer restrictions on street parking and cheaper prices at the meters shoppers might return.