LETTER - the case for free parking

On a recent visit to Market Rasen, I spoke to the manager of a shop in Queen Street. She has been a town councillor for many years.

She told me that the car parking at the three West Lindsey owned car parks in Market Rasen is free.

She said as a result of free parking, the town’s shops and businesses have definitely enjoyed increased footfall.

Mary Portas is employed by David Cameron to regenerate small towns in the UK. Mary worked in Market Rasen in 2012. She said ‘a town must have free parking to increase footfall etc.’

The introduction of parking charges for previously free car parks generally reduces the time locals and visitors spend in town and therefore businesses suffer.

If free parking was introduced in Horncastle, people would be under no pressure to return to their cars. They would have time to socialise, perhaps pop into a cafe for coffee or lunch and maybe make unplanned purchases. ALL EXTRA TRADE.

The alternative, with parking charges, is only to do what was planned due to limited time and then go home.

Free parking also helps de-clutter roads from on-street parking and therefore ensure faster flows of traffic through the town.

Ticket machines will no longer be necessary, thereby saving thousands of pounds in installation and maintenance costs.

Enforcement officers would not be needed - a saving of £375,000,

Apparently, East Lindsey raised nearly £3,000,000 from car parking in 2013/14. I wonder if this money has been diverted to support other services, rather than car park maintenance (like resurfacing of The Wong).

Surely, this money should be raised by all Council Tax payers. Why should the burden fall on only the motorist? Is it a stealth tax? What about transparency here?

In a democratic society first and foremost, councillors are elected to listen to and represent the views of the people.

I can’t imagine that any parking charges are popular. That facts for free parking are overwhelming and the sooner it is implemented the better for all of us.

David Baines

Bonnetable Road