Welwyn traders setup petition to stop parking petition

PUBLISHED: 12:20 10 September 2011

High St Car Park

High St Car Park

Archant

VILLAGERS have set up a petition to stop parking charges being introduced.

Residents are being urged to sign it before Friday September 23 to stop Welwyn Hatfield Council’s advanced plans to introduce parking fees in Welwyn’s car parks.

Campaigners say it will kill the village economically.

The scheme, now under consultation, would see new restrictions on car parks in High Street and Lockleys Drive.

It would mean motorists being charged 50p for 30 minutes, 80p for an hour and £1 for an hour-and-a-half.

The proposal also sees Broomfield Road car park having a three hour restriction, while Titmus Yard would have a permit scheme for residents of Mill Lane.

Annette Johnson at Bridge Cottage Surgery helped to devise the petition at an “extraordinary” Welwyn Parish Council meeting last week.

She said: “We’re firmly against the charges being introduced. It is difficult enough to park in the village at the moment. We want patients to be able to park and to be able to make their appointments on time. We’ve managed so far without being charged, it seems to be a money making exercise.”

Piers Lyon, the village’s representative on Welwyn Hatfield Chamber of Commerce, said it was important people wrote objections to the chief executive of Welwyn Hatfield Council Michel Saminaden and their local councillors, as well as sign the petition.

Piers, owner of the White Hart hotel in Prospect Place, fears the village could return to the state which saw many firms struggle following the fire that almost destroyed The Wellington pub.

He said: “The restrictions are a potentially disastrous, or even fatal, problem for the village.

“If implemented, it will lead to a massive drop in visitor numbers, which the businesses and community cannot afford. The bigger picture; businesses go bust, empty shops, a depressed area, house price depreciation.

“Also for me the total disregard for local opinion and needs of the community is appalling.”

All residents within a one kilometre radius of the village centre have been contacted by Welwyn Hatfield Council for their views and councillor Colin Couch, executive member for parking, said the proposals had been made to “support” residents and businesses.

He added: “These proposals are an integral part of an improvement plan for Welwyn car parks and aim to alleviate ongoing parking issues in the village. The long-term aim is to support local businesses and protect residents parking, while increasing the availability of short-term spaces for shoppers.”

The proposed scheme can be viewed in the Parish Office in Lockleys drive, Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings 9am to 1pm, or via contacting your councillor.


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