Parking tariffs bid fails

Written by Pete Davison.

A last-ditch attempt to reverse parking tariff increases across the county has failed.

A representation on behalf of the 17 chambers of commerce in Wiltshire by Mike Williams, president of the Wessex Association of Chambers of Commerce, was rejected.

Mr Williams said that chamber members refuted the council´s assertion that parking charges had no effect on High Street trade.

But despite representations, campaigns and petitions from Marlborough, as well as Salisbury, Chippenham, Devizes, and Bradford on Avon, county councillors meeting at Salisbury City Hall on Tuesday decided to stick with the increases – which came into force in July.

Their only concession was a 10p reduction in the first hour´s parking in Chippenham, Trowbridge and Salisbury. Marlborough, which historically offers visitors and residents some of the highest car parking tariffs in the county, was not given such a break. 

Cllr Dick Tonge, cabinet member for highways, said: “There is no evidence that reducing the charges would have any effect.”

And in a move that traders county-wide will see as grabbing a handful of salt to rub into the wound, Council leader Jane Scott said: “We have listened to local residents and businesses and I hope we can now move forward and promote everything our excellent shopping centres have to offer.”

The council's own parking statistics reveal the car park useage in Marlborough is six percent down this year against 2010.