/ Should car parking be free in Sittingbourne?
It’s interesting to read in today’s paper that yet again the subject of Free Parking is being discussed, on this occasion limited to Saturdays only for a trial period of three months.
It is beyond dispute that towns up and down the country that have thrived where others have failed have free parking or very inexpensive parking as an essential component of their offering, although obviously other factors do play an important part.
Free parking features heavily in debates about town centre regeneration, so why hasn’t the Council put business first at the expense of lining their own coffers. Surely in the grand scheme of things this would be money well spent, more money coming into the town benefits everyone including the Council.
I don’t have the figures on income from car parking fees, but as I understood the situation in certain years the annual increase in car parking charges has resulted in less income being generated.
Clearly whatever it is that the Council has or has not being doing over recent years to assist where it is able to with supporting high street businesses isn’t working. We should remember in the Councils defence that they can’t regenerate the high street by themselves, in fact their contribution may be limited, but this is one area where it is possible to do something so should they?