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Parking Charges in Wincanton - A High Street Trader's Opinion
I run Southern Cartridges, a small High Street shop in Wincanton providing printer inks and various associated bits and pieces. In my shop there is a second business providing computer supplies and support. We are both alarmed at the prospect of the potential introduction of parking charges for our three main car parks and the meters proposed for the High Street parking bays that are currently also free.
It seems likely that Wincanton could be blessed with the introduction of a triple whammy as far as parking in the town is considered. It appears that the three main car parks will be hit with charges of up to 80p per hour, the (currently) free parking bays will have parking meters installed at whatever charge is deemed suitable and to cap it all, we could also get a full time parking attendant (warden) who no doubt will have stiff targets to achieve to justify their position. Going from a free parking situation to what is proposed is a huge and potentially disastrous change.
Our town centre already has its fair share of empty retail units and my feelings are that any actions that could be considered detrimental to the wellbeing of our existing High Street businesses should be discussed fully to hopefully find a suitable solution. It must be remembered that many of the shops currently in the town are on a knife edge of profitability already and even a small reduction in trade could force businesses to move elsewhere or even close down completely.
I am tempted to ask whether the people responsible for these proposals actually understand the difficulties facing our small independent businesses today, or if they even care about keeping local businesses available for local people to use. If we are not careful, Wincanton town centre could end up as just another residential street with none of our interesting and unusual shops keeping local people spending their hard earned money locally.
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