Parking charge hike will cost Hunts dearly

ALL experienced business managers know that in the current economic climate their business will flounder if year on year they increase their prices by about 20 per cent.

If the 100 per cent rise in parking fees in 2014 by Huntingdonshire District Council, reported in The Hunts Post, is implemented, this means parking fees will have increased by about 23 per cent per year since mid 2008.

Even worse, in its “parking business” Huntingdonshire District Council is competing against companies that provide free parking – the out-of-town retail parks.

Our analysis indicates that massive rises in parking fees will drive the car-based customers of market towns to out-of-town retail with free parking. For example, in a market town like St Ives our survey shows a doubling of parking fees will actually cause the district council to lose money from parking, about �70,000 per annum, compared to the revenue before increasing parking fees. (A 50 per cent percent rise in parking fees results in similar losses.)

When account is taken of the extra fuel used, accidents, and the fall in business rates, the loss rises to about �200,000 a year.


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Extrapolating these data across Huntingdonshire, the loss becomes some �1million per annum, with an increase in carbon dioxide emissions of about 1,000,000 tonnes per year.

Applying the data across the country may result in a loss of �100m a year.

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In addition, the retail element of many market towns will be destroyed. These towns offer central government one of the cheapest and most effective ways of promoting sustainable communities.

We have asked Jonathan Djanogly, our MP, to support the retail businesses of Huntingdonshire by examining the strategy that allows parking fees to be uncapped.

We have also asked him to bring to the notice of colleagues concerned with the rural economy and local government that huge rises in parking fees being considered by district councils in their February spending reviews will drive car based customers out of market towns, and will probably lose money compared to their pre increase parking revenues.

RICHARD and JANE WATERS

Station Road

St Ives

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