Don’t dismiss Pendle’s disc scheme

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I was pleased to see that the protest about the coming parking charges was given front page coverage.

Rightly so. The introduction of these charges would be very damaging to our already struggling market town.

After attending the meeting of residents and traders who, understandably, are concerned about the effect this will have, I raised the issue at a council meeting.

As a result, a letter raising our objections was sent to Calderdale the following day.

Back in May 2012, I instigated the Town Council writing to Calderdale to ask that they, as part of their coming parking review, consider a ‘Disc Parking’ scheme for Todmorden residents.

This would allow one hour’s free parking in the town centre. Calderdale’s response was to dismiss this as unfeasible. Apparently “90 per cent of their parking revenue comes from the first hour’s parking”. However, Pendle Council manage to operate a similar scheme in nine of its 49 car parks (the remaining 40 being totally free by the way)!

Regarding revenue, I find it interesting to note that our tourist-attracting neighbour, Hebden Bridge, has 224 Parking spaces, a potential revenue of £103.70 ph. Struggling Todmorden, when the new charges start, will have 215 paying spaces bringing in £101.20. Virtually the same, with less spaces! Take into account the days Hebden has car parks closed to accomodate markets, and Todmorden then earns Calderdale more through parking charges than far busier Hebden! What does this tell us?

Todmorden has the potential to attract trade as much as Hebden. Even more so I believe, given our history and Yorkshire/Lancashire border location. If only Calderdale would stop treating us as the poor cousins, stop putting barriers like parking charges in our way and start showing a little support.

Coun Michael Gill,

Stansfield Hall Road,

Todmorden.