Mr Mustard is sure that when Brian Coleman had the idea of saving money by removing the cash parking meter facility, so that cash didn't need collecting, he wasn't thinking a la King George V with his supposed Bugger Bognor remark, "Bugger Barnet" but that he was doing the council and the residents a great service. Sadly, as recent history has shown us, he was completely wrong and yesterday afternoon at 1.30 in the Moxon Street car park the number of cars was, bugger all.
|it could do with a bit of a sweep as well.|
That is also what Dean Cohen seems to be achieving since he took over the parking portfolio about a year ago. Bold decisions are needed and have not been made. If only 7 cars have paid to park and there are 62 spaces (58 for anyone, 3 for blue badge holders and 1 reserved - who is it reserved for is a question that needs to be answered) then you have to ask yourself if maybe a radical new strategy is needed? If cars are not in the car park then fewer shoppers are in the shops and the town of Chipping Barnet is slowly withering.
We want a thriving High Street. Rather than looking at car parks as a cash cow, and this one is pretty dry at present, then maybe we should be looking at making them free for up to 4 hours. That would stop commuters and workers from parking there all day whilst leaving the way clear for people to come and use our shops, restaurants and hairdressers without the worry of getting a parking ticket at the extortionate charge of £110 and would generate a high turnover of people, at least 3 per space per day.
Parking meters that take credit cards, not of course the ones that also take cash that traders told the council were required, would help a little, but they are supposedly coming tomorrow or the next day or the one after that; who can say? certainly not Dean Cohen.
We need less emphasis from the council on making £7,000,000+ a year from parking charges, permits and penalty charge notices in order to subsidise Council Tax and more responsibility being taken on their shoulders for keeping town centres in business.
When it's gone it's gone!