There has been many complaints that Gloucester is just not accessible enough for families wanting to go into the City because public transport is too expensive, and Parking was not much better. However it seems that the City Council has taken the message on board and has made the Parking Charges in its car parks much more accessible.
I think this is a bold move, with many critics already lining up to rubbish it, but it will be welcome by business owners who have shops and outlets in the centre. It means that people will be able to use the city for shorter term visits and not have to pay all day. In reality, it is not changing the hourly rate, what it is doing is allowing users to pay more precisely for what they use. The minimum unit was £2 for 2 hours, where as now you can pay £1 (or in some places £1.30) for 1 hour and £3 for 3 hours. This has to be better for the user, especially in these cash strapped times. By the same token, it will enable spaces to have better throughput which will enable more people to
park throughout the day.
The danger could be is if it is not allowed to “bed in”. Many people will wait a few weeks then pull a lot of figures out to show that it has not improved things, but that would be a bad approach. It should be seen as part of an overall regeneration of attitude towards business within Gloucester and a recognition that we need to do all we can to make the centre as accessible as possible. That way, businesses will thrive and we will gain much more revenue for the city than the few quid that the parking pulls in per person.
Personally, if success can be shown longer term, then I would like to see further reductions to provide more access, as well as a much more family friendly public transport network priced in a realistic way which would really open up the City Gates”
- Gloucester growth – What business do we want and how do we get them? (barrykirby.co.uk)
- Every Business need found within Gloucester (barrykirby.co.uk)