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Salisbury still suffering from parking bungle

January 30, 2013 11:20 PM

Parking Logo with Pound SignBusinesses in Salisbury say they're still feeling the effects of the drastic increase in car parking charges imposed by Wiltshire's Conservative administration last year. In a letter to councillors the proprieter of 'La Molina' restaurant in Butcher Row in the city says:

"FACT: Salisbury is in the top 3 most expensive places to park in the South West.

FACT: Salisbury is the ONLY city in the South of England that charges more per hour for parking for 3 hours than it does for 2 hours.

FACT: Car Park Usage in Salisbury dropped significantly immediately after the current charging policy was introduced on 18/4/11

FACT: Salisbury is 25% to 40% more expensive for short stay shoppers' parking than its natural competitors in Southampton, Poole, Bournemouth, Basingstoke & Swindon all of whom charge on average £1 or less per hour in its main shoppers' parks

FACT: Wiltshire Council charges excessively more for parking in its Salisbury Car Parks than it does in all of its other towns including the next two larger towns where they still have a fair number of FREE parking spaces.

FACT: Wiltshire Council is one of only two local authorities in the South of England that provides a FREE bus service OUT of the city to the edge of city shopping areas owned and run buy the multiples to the detriment of the businesses in the city. This is done in part at the expense of Wiltshire Council taxpayers.

FACT: Wiltshire Council ignore reports from institutions like the British Retail Consortium and people like Mary Portas who say that there is a link between city centre viability and parking charges.

FACT: The electricity went down for 16 days in 2012 in Central Car Park Salisbury knocking out payment meters and most retailers reported an upwards footfall during this time.

FACT: Wiltshire Council have a motto "Where Everybody Matters" yet not one single councillor can explain what this means. If the council meant this, surely parking charges should be the same throughout the authority area - can I assume that councillors in Trowbridge, Chippenham, Warminster, Devizes, Westbury etc. Would like to see their residents paying £4.20 for 3 hours or would you like to carry on with the apparent nepotism of much lower or FREE parking in your areas at the cost of Salisbury residents, jobs and businesses ?

FACT: It costs more to run a business in Salisbury than many other areas - In prime sites it costs more per square foot to rent retail space in Salisbury than it does in Southampton, Bournemouth, Winchester, Swindon, Basingstoke, Watford, Camberley, Guildford and more which means we pay proportionally higher business rates. All of those places have higher footfall than Salisbury.

FACT: Over £1,000, 000 was paid out for Wiltshire's councillors attendance allowances last year - Those councillors who voted for Salisbury's parking charges individually draw more than those who did not.

Of those Wiltshire councillors who voted for or support Salisbury's car parking charges and enjoy lower parking charges in your areas shame on you. Salisbury is a poorer place as a result of this badly run unitary authority."