Monday, 6 June 2011

A Ray of Sunshine In Swindon

From the Adver

Last summer the council slashed parking prices in the centre of Swindon from £1.20 for an hour and £4.80 for four hours, to £1 an hour, or £2 for four.
Now, a report coming before the cabinet on Wednesday has hailed the move a success, and the council wants to extend it permanently to stop town centre trade falling.
But it also states the cut-price parking rates take an estimated £500,000 out of council coffers each year.
The Brunel Shopping Centre says because of the move, there have been 286,000 more visitors so far in 2011, compared to the same period in 2010 when the car parking prices were still high.


The whole point of parking charges isn't about raising council funds (which mostly comes from residents anyway), it's about rationing of something in short supply. I've been into Swindon since it changed, and the car parks are pretty chocka at 2pm on Saturdays, but there's still spaces (not too many though). Therefore, the rationing is about right.

It also makes the town more competitive. Perhaps not for people in Swindon itself, but for those people half way between Swindon and elsewhere, in Faringdon or Cricklade, this might tip the decision. And those are typically people with a bit more money.

1 comment:

  1. I refuse to pay parking fees when I go into Swindon (which is rarely nowadays). I find a spot on the street somewhere, and walk for 5 mins into the centre. I was prompted to do this about 10 years ago when Swindon BC (thieving b@st@rds) put the price for overnight parking up from 50p all night to £1 for 2-3 hours and £1-50 for all night. This despite the carparks being almost entirely empty. I used to go out in the evenings in town then (I was young and stupid), and swore from that day forward they would get no more car parking money from me. And they haven't.