Knebworth ‘parking charges are driving people away’ from the village

cllr Alan Sleator, Rosemary Conybeare, John Bantick, John Jones, Steve Hemingway

cllr Alan Sleator, Rosemary Conybeare, John Bantick, John Jones, Steve Hemingway - Credit: Archant

Drivers in Knebworth are protesting about new parking charges saying they will damage local businesses.

Parking restrictions were introduced to the village earlier this year by North Herts District Council, (NHDC) changing the free St Martin’s car park into a pay and display, after a consultation.

But now councillors and residents say the new rules are damaging the village economy as drivers have no free parking anywhere in the area.

Parish councillor Alan Sleator told the WHT: “Local people are very hacked off.

“It is only 20p or something, but it is the inconvenience.

“If you don’t have the change you will simply go to the Tesco up the road rather than the shops in Knebworth.”

Cllr Sleator added there should be a 20 minute free parking period rather than charging drivers as soon as they entered the car park.

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“Otherwise they get hit with a £70 fine,” he said. “We think the council should be encouraging people to shop locally.

“Instead they are driving people away.”

Cllr Tom Brindley, NHDC’s portfolio holder for planning, transport and enterprise said: “The introduction of short-stay pay and display parking at St Martin’s car park in Knebworth came into force following consultation with local businesses and residents.

“It has proven to be successful in freeing up space for shoppers, thus supporting local trade.

“Prior to its introduction many of the spaces were being used for longer term parking and so making it difficult for residents and visitors to use the village shops and services”.