Hereford will become a "dead city" if on-street parking charge is brought in, say traders

Neil Clarke, manager of Tanners Wines, says that introduing on-street parking charges will severely effect trade in Hereford city centre.Picture: Paul Rogers

Angela Siemieniuk, from Hat Trick, says that people should be allowed to park for free for up to an hour.Picture: Paul Rogers

First published in News

INDEPDENDENT retailers in Hereford fear that the city could become "dead" if plans to charge people for on-street parking go ahead.

The Hereford Times reported last week that a "charging option" will go out to shoppers and traders as part of a Herefordshire Council consultation exercise next month.

Motorists can currently park free of charge in a number of places near High Town and the cathedral.

Castle Street offers drivers a free two-hour period, while visitors can park free of charge in Bridge Street for an hour.

Vehicles can also be left in St Owen Street for up to half an hour without payment.

Neil Clarke, who runs Tanners Wines in St Peter's Square, said that any potential charge will have a detrimental effect on trade in the city centre.

"I am against anything that will discourage people from coming into town," said Neil.

"People are already finding traffic in Hereford horrendous and they do not come into the city centre if there is nowhere to park.

"We have loading bays outside our shop and we advise people to park further down.

"If you start charging in St Owen Street, then there will be nowhere for them to park if they want to come in here.

"This city has historical trading ties going back to medieval times, but the city centre is dying on its feet."

In a herefordtimes.com ballot, 84% of 453 people who voted said that they would not be happy to pay to leave their vehicle on the street.

Angela Siemieniuk, who owns the Hat Trick shop in East Street, said people should be allowed to park for up to an hour for free.

"St Owen Street can accommodate up to 70 cars, but half an hour is not enough," she said.

"I'm not totally opposed to the idea, because I know that the council has to generate revenue, but if it does go ahead, then there should be machines at either end of St Owen Street for people to pay.

"And even then, the first hour should be free."

Fellow East Street trader Cherry Savidge, who runs a fashion store in the street, said: "The council is making it harder and harder for people to come into town.

"If people are asked to pay on the streets, they will just go into other towns, like Ledbury and Hay, where they can park and do their shopping.

"We are just going to have a dead city in Hereford."

Comments (9)

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10:44am Fri 31 Jan 14

Herefordian07 says...

Hereford business people constantly warn the council of the results of their ill thought out ideas but they take no notice and blunder on regardless, safe in the knowledge that they know better and they have the POWER, do I have to remind anyone of the dreadful traffic reversal fiasco, let alone the hideous OLM development, what a blight on our historic city. Business owners listen to their customers comments regarding a whole range of subjects related to their shopping experience in Hereford and other towns/cities so have great intelligence on the street, our council cabinet however sit in their ivory towers and fire off lightning bolts at our poor souls in almost blissful ignorance of how to run a successful business, Lord help us!
Hereford business people constantly warn the council of the results of their ill thought out ideas but they take no notice and blunder on regardless, safe in the knowledge that they know better and they have the POWER, do I have to remind anyone of the dreadful traffic reversal fiasco, let alone the hideous OLM development, what a blight on our historic city. Business owners listen to their customers comments regarding a whole range of subjects related to their shopping experience in Hereford and other towns/cities so have great intelligence on the street, our council cabinet however sit in their ivory towers and fire off lightning bolts at our poor souls in almost blissful ignorance of how to run a successful business, Lord help us! Herefordian07
  • Score: 13

12:11pm Fri 31 Jan 14

saidflo says...

Don't worry shoppers, traders and tourists. Council staff will be okay. They can park in many central areas for nothing or practically nothing.
Really? Yes!

- Parking charges for council staff, Partner organisation staff? (Hoople, Halo? BB?) on staff car parks at:
Bath St, Brockington, Plough Lane, are £1.00 for over 5 hours. (Nice and affordable).

Staff season tickets for those car parks are
£115 per year or £30 per quarter

Also, there are over 2 dozen central parking sites with free parking reserved or available for staff by way of a free staff business pass. This pass is given to staff regularly using their own vehicle for business use.

imo, in recession hit Hereford, we need to review perks such as free parking and other subsidised benefits.

Sure, some staff may be justified to park for free but many, as they are lucky enough to have a good job, CAN afford to pay, like the rest of us have to pay the going rate. Life is tough for us all.
Over 10 years ago I paid £4 per day for parking at work.

So before we PAY OUT AGAIN for Consultation, a new parking meter system installation, upkeep, etc., can we please level the charges for everyone one of us.

There is no plausible fair reason council staff should not pay for what they use.
I am not anti-staff, some do a brilliant job, but why continue with perks we can no longer afford, evidenced by cuts to childrens' and vulnerable adults' services, public toilets, blah blah blah!
Don't worry shoppers, traders and tourists. Council staff will be okay. They can park in many central areas for nothing or practically nothing. Really? Yes! - Parking charges for council staff, Partner organisation staff? (Hoople, Halo? BB?) on staff car parks at: Bath St, Brockington, Plough Lane, are £1.00 for over 5 hours. (Nice and affordable). Staff season tickets for those car parks are £115 per year or £30 per quarter Also, there are over 2 dozen central parking sites with free parking reserved or available for staff by way of a free staff business pass. This pass is given to staff regularly using their own vehicle for business use. imo, in recession hit Hereford, we need to review perks such as free parking and other subsidised benefits. Sure, some staff may be justified to park for free but many, as they are lucky enough to have a good job, CAN afford to pay, like the rest of us have to pay the going rate. Life is tough for us all. Over 10 years ago I paid £4 per day for parking at work. So before we PAY OUT AGAIN for Consultation, a new parking meter system installation, upkeep, etc., can we please level the charges for everyone one of us. There is no plausible fair reason council staff should not pay for what they use. I am not anti-staff, some do a brilliant job, but why continue with perks we can no longer afford, evidenced by cuts to childrens' and vulnerable adults' services, public toilets, blah blah blah! saidflo
  • Score: 18

6:10pm Fri 31 Jan 14

William Rudd says...

Sod the consultation which is yet another waste of our money, just sack the person who thought this mad idea up.
Sod the consultation which is yet another waste of our money, just sack the person who thought this mad idea up. William Rudd
  • Score: 11

8:50pm Fri 31 Jan 14

WYSIATI says...

saiflo - I was under the impression that council staff now pay for parking because of the racket made about free parking. For some of them that's a significant hit out of the blue.

I assume parking while on business is refunded through expense claims (probably best not to ask whether it's more expensive to have people go through the process of making claims, checking them and paying them than having a free business use pass).

There was talk a while ago of taxing free parking spaces provided by workplaces - perhaps we can have that along with council charges.

Some short term, free parking in town seems like good sense to me. I was in Bethesda in the US a while back - they wanted to develop the town centre and made it a requirement of any business that set up that free parking was provided - the way it worked was that they clubbed together to set up car parks and paid for those - works like a dream, There's always enough parking in car parks paid for by the businesses and the place is busy and thriving (at no cost to the council).
saiflo - I was under the impression that council staff now pay for parking because of the racket made about free parking. For some of them that's a significant hit out of the blue. I assume parking while on business is refunded through expense claims (probably best not to ask whether it's more expensive to have people go through the process of making claims, checking them and paying them than having a free business use pass). There was talk a while ago of taxing free parking spaces provided by workplaces - perhaps we can have that along with council charges. Some short term, free parking in town seems like good sense to me. I was in Bethesda in the US a while back - they wanted to develop the town centre and made it a requirement of any business that set up that free parking was provided - the way it worked was that they clubbed together to set up car parks and paid for those - works like a dream, There's always enough parking in car parks paid for by the businesses and the place is busy and thriving (at no cost to the council). WYSIATI
  • Score: 1

11:24am Sat 1 Feb 14

JollyJesterTwo says...

Parking on the street needs to be simplified because the variable parking allowances are confusing. As is the road marking outside the Odeon which says 'Taxis' but this restriction only applies after 7pm, during the day, anyone can park there. Most who use on street parking sons onto make a short visit to the bank, pharmacist or shop. Putting in parking meters will be costly and those of us who just nip into town to run a couple of errands will not bother. Businesses will lose out and the whole hair brained scheme will add another nail in the coffin of what was once a thriving market town.
Parking on the street needs to be simplified because the variable parking allowances are confusing. As is the road marking outside the Odeon which says 'Taxis' but this restriction only applies after 7pm, during the day, anyone can park there. Most who use on street parking sons onto make a short visit to the bank, pharmacist or shop. Putting in parking meters will be costly and those of us who just nip into town to run a couple of errands will not bother. Businesses will lose out and the whole hair brained scheme will add another nail in the coffin of what was once a thriving market town. JollyJesterTwo
  • Score: 4

3:17pm Sat 1 Feb 14

ad47uk says...

I wonder if this is to try and push people into parking in the old market when it opens just to get people in there?

My lack of trust for politicians again, be them local, national, European and international.
I wonder if this is to try and push people into parking in the old market when it opens just to get people in there? My lack of trust for politicians again, be them local, national, European and international. ad47uk
  • Score: -1

1:02am Sun 2 Feb 14

saidflo says...

Ridiculous and plainly stupid idea to increase parking restrictions and costs on the streets where businesses are already negatively affected by the new shopping mall.
A fairer way to raise more cash for the council is to put a stop to subsidising council employees' car parking and other benefits.
Were parking charges for council (and "partner organisation") employees recently changed? (WYSIATI). The info I posted above is up to date per FOI request. It looks like the employees have subsidised car parking to me.
Beginning to charge Herefordshire council workers the going rate for parking, and other perks of the job, will level the playing field for all businesses. It may be uncomfortable to start paying a little more but be fair - we all have to pay too!
One benefit may be to discourage the use of so many cars in the city.

Also, to reiterate my point above, imo, drivers given free "business use" passes are maybe not all bona-fide or justifiable as deserved business users in these times of paucity.

(Am not commenting on Income tax charges and relief which are not a local matter.)
Ridiculous and plainly stupid idea to increase parking restrictions and costs on the streets where businesses are already negatively affected by the new shopping mall. A fairer way to raise more cash for the council is to put a stop to subsidising council employees' car parking and other benefits. Were parking charges for council (and "partner organisation") employees recently changed? (WYSIATI). The info I posted above is up to date per FOI request. It looks like the employees have subsidised car parking to me. Beginning to charge Herefordshire council workers the going rate for parking, and other perks of the job, will level the playing field for all businesses. It may be uncomfortable to start paying a little more but be fair - we all have to pay too! One benefit may be to discourage the use of so many cars in the city. Also, to reiterate my point above, imo, drivers given free "business use" passes are maybe not all bona-fide or justifiable as deserved business users in these times of paucity. (Am not commenting on Income tax charges and relief which are not a local matter.) saidflo
  • Score: 2

7:38am Mon 3 Feb 14

WYSIATI says...

saidflo - i asked a friend who works for the council - I was told staff have to pay for parking, the only exceptions are those who require the car to do their work (ie who have to drive for work). Given the choice I'd rather see my council tax spent on providing the services to the vulnerable than spent on answering FOI requests over parking charges.
saidflo - i asked a friend who works for the council - I was told staff have to pay for parking, the only exceptions are those who require the car to do their work (ie who have to drive for work). Given the choice I'd rather see my council tax spent on providing the services to the vulnerable than spent on answering FOI requests over parking charges. WYSIATI
  • Score: 6

1:31pm Tue 4 Feb 14

William Rudd says...

ad47uk wrote:
I wonder if this is to try and push people into parking in the old market when it opens just to get people in there?

My lack of trust for politicians again, be them local, national, European and international.
Not really.There will be short stay car parking like any other car park in the City,you will still have to pay.
[quote][p][bold]ad47uk[/bold] wrote: I wonder if this is to try and push people into parking in the old market when it opens just to get people in there? My lack of trust for politicians again, be them local, national, European and international.[/p][/quote]Not really.There will be short stay car parking like any other car park in the City,you will still have to pay. William Rudd
  • Score: 1

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