After less than 5 minutes of debate and consideration of the complexities of financing this scheme, the 5 conservative members of the Vale cabinet decided to provide free 2hr car parking for well-off car drivers who want to park in Abingdon town centre.This was despite a strong recommendation from the financial officers that the scheme not be adopted.
They also decided to raise residents’ parking permit fees, commuters’ permit fees, and fees to park longer than 2 hours.
But the main source of funding for this £1,000,000 will be the new homes bonus reserves. These are the funds paid to the Vale by large developers to support and enhance the community infrastructure where they are building swathes of new homes.
So, no new playgounds, no youth centres, no community halls for over-populated neighbourhoods in exchange for the well-off car drivers having 2 hours of free parking while they shop.
I find this annoying, to say the least.
It’s too late to convince the Tories not to do it. All we can do is ask the hard questions:
- How much is this costing and how is the cost being re-couped?
- What metrics are in place to measure the effectiveness of this free car parking on the vitality of the town centre?
Email, write, or ring them up. Let them know how you feel about this.