LETTER: Horncastle needs more time limited free parking to survive

Following an enquiry into why it is possible to park in Louth Market Place for 30 minutes free of charge, it was seen that serious consideration has to be given to the unique problems here in Horncastle because we do not have the various advantages available in other towns.

Here in Horncastle, we have by comparison very few ‘on street’ parking places compared to Louth and Woodhall Spa.

We do not have any ‘in town’ free parking at all, compared to other towns in the district. The free time offered on The Wong is useless because the car park is now - since the charges and enforcement were introduced - not used at all.

The result is that Horncastle is not as busy as it should be, or as busy as it was before the parking changes a year ago.

Horncastle stands alone in Lincolnshire - and perhaps the country - as perhaps the smallest market town with the most to offer visitors, whether it is visiting coffee shops, antique (or junk) shops, book shops, historical centres etc.

Motorists (ie: visitors) are now without any doubt discouraged from coming into Horncastle and from certainly staying in the town because of parking difficulties.

There is no doubt Horncastle is becoming a commercial ghost town. The empty car parks and streets in the town centre are proof of this. I predicted this one year ago. Sadly, I have been proven right.

I hope everybody interested in saving Horncastle from the same fate as other market towns will join forces to encourage the only element missing from commercial success here in our town - more visitors.

We need more than a few spaces on Church Lane, Wharf Road and North Street limited to one hour parking and patrolled by over-zealous County Council Enforcement Officers.

Horncastle needs two hours free parking on the streets and in the car park on St Lawrence Street - and all day free parking on The Wong, together with less zealous enforcement by ELDC.

Only then will visitors feel they are not being hounded out of town by the council and once again, hopefully, if too much damage has not already been done, return to enjoy what it and the businesses have to offer.

Richard Ingram-Hill