Parking puts us at bottom of league

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IN COMMON with Anthony Gibson (last week’s Letterbox) I no longer shop in Dewsbury, with just one exception - to visit a well-known market pork pie shop, whose superb products are unmatched anywhere else.

When I do visit the pie shop, which should probably take about 10 minutes, I have to insert enough cash for at least 20 minutes as for some reason, even though the council has the technology to take our money, it is evidently incapable of installing machines to give change; but I digress.

If you accept that a large proportion of the community shops by car, and that there are, within short distances, some excellent shopping centres with free parking, I think it would be a very dim councillor indeed who failed to see the damage that paid parking has done to Dewsbury town centre and its businesses.

I believe that in the absence of a radical rethink, Dewsbury town centre will remain in the relegation zone of the fourth division of Yorkshire towns.

Why do we have to pay to park? As taxpayers, we already own the tarmac, so that can’t be the reason can it?

The council will probably say that it’s done to manage the availability of parking in the town centre, but that is obviously not the reason, because Mr Gibson stated in his letter that there were lots of parking spaces available and he was still fined for returning to his vehicle five minutes late, an experience that I have also had in Dewsbury. So, cards on the table, the reason must just be to raise revenue, and this even though it damages business.

So, I ask once again, why do we need to pay to park, and why are rules applied in such a draconian manner?

Why not have 45 minutes free parking? My guess is that there will be no exciting or innovative solution to the problem. Either nobody in the council really cares enough about the traders in Dewsbury to do anything about it, or they aren’t prepared to take a risk.

I wish the Town Team all the best in trying to make Dewsbury a more attractive place to visit, but they will always be dragging the parking ball and chain. And that’s a shame for Dewsbury.

RICHARD HANDSCOMBE

Birkdale Road

DEWSBURY