I’M all for reducing the burden on the ratepayer, but not necessarily at the expense of motorists.
The high streets in all towns throughout Britain are suffering more now than at any other time in recent history with eye wateringly high business rates and reduced footfall. To drive vehicles and as such shoppers away from our town centres with punitive fines for illegal parking is dangerous and foolish. Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots, and Ramsey all have there unique traffic flow problems, but as I travel to St Ives more frequently than the other towns I tend to focus on the problems in St Ives.
The traffic flow around St Ives is shambolic. To give you a couple of instances: It infuriates me that a sign in the Broadway next to Piggotts the Jewellers states that motorists are entering a pedestrian zone and with certain exceptions vehicles are banned from entering. Countless vehicle drive past this sign, turn right and right again and drive down Merrylands only to emerge back were they started from. If the council is looking for quick fines prosecute these drivers, the coffers will soon be piling up.
We have a bus lane with a rising bollard outside Costa coffee. The bollard remains down and we have three padlocked bollards in place to stop buses that don't drive through the town from driving through the town. Why?
We have a magnificent park and ride car park in Meadow Lane where people can park for free, yet they are looking to impose fines on motorists who park illegally in the town centre.
It might sound a bit radical but why not ban all vehicles from the town centre, encourage cars to park at Meadow Lane for a fee and have a tear off portion of the ticket to use as a 'one stop' bus ticket to ride on a busway bus into the bus station close to the Market Hill.
FRED KING Bluntisham