South Lakes parking fees anger grows

TRADERS claim that customers are boycotting Kendal town centre in protest at new car park machines introduced by South Lakeland District Council.

The machines are designed to prevent motorists passing part-paid tickets on to other drivers. Visitors to car parks now have to enter their car registration. Independent traders see the introduction of the machines as another inconvenience to shoppers who also have to fork out high parking fees.

Kendal businesswoman, Karin Grandal-Park, who owns Room 19 on Stricklandgate, is so angry that the authority has spent £340,000 on the new pay and display machines that she is now offering a £1 parking ‘refund’ to customers who spend at least £10 in her giftware shop.

“I felt that this was just another obstacle to put people off coming into Kendal,” she said.

“I often get complaints from customers about the cost of parking. People have only so much money to spend. Footfall is down and if we don’t do something we will end up with a ghost town.”

Derek Armstrong, business development manager with Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said he expected other traders to follow suit.

“We often get complaints about parking,” he said. “And it is interesting to see that retailers are willing to take this further step to help offset costs.

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“It is good to see retailers stepping up to the mark and I think it is something that could grow. It is something we will consider at Made in Cumbria.”

Gwen MacAuley, owner of Inglewood Cards on Highgate, said some of her customers were ‘resentful’ of the new parking machines and said: “It is very short-sighted to gain revenue that way.”

Goronwy Parry, owner of Highgate Carpets, said: “Customers complain all the time about the parking and nothing will happen to improve the town until that is resolved.

“We have lost customers that we had for years from Grasmere and Coniston because they find it easier to go to Barrow than to come into Kendal.”

Adrienne Williams who owns Williams’ Wool, in Kirkland, said trade was definitely affected by the parking, with customers more likely to drive out to supermarkets to save the ‘hassle’ of the town centre.

“They (SLDC) promote Kendal as the gateway to the Lakes, which means you hope people will come to the town, but make it so hard to actually bring a car here,” she said.

Yesterday K Village in Kendal announced that parking charges were to be slashed to just £1 for four hours in the run-up to Christmas.

Manager Mandy Dixon said: “We know parking is a big issue for Kendal and has been brought up time and time again by both local shoppers and visitors.

“We’ve been pushing over the past couple of months to get car parking charges lowered for a trial period.”

There has been praise for a trial by SLDC which has seen charges at four spots across South Lakeland slashed for three months, with traders saying it is beneficial to those who just want to spend a few minutes in shops.

In Grange, shoppers have been using Kents Bank car park for 20p for the first half hour.

Vicky Johnston who owns At Home Bistro said: “A lot of the businesses have said it’s been a good idea and certainly more people are parking in town.

“But there have been a lot of comments about how the new machines are a waste of money and it is unfair that you can’t pass your ticket on.”

Coun Ian Stewart, SLDC’s portfolio holder for enterprise and economy, said: “SLDC welcomes any initiative which encourages more people to shop in Kendal and hope others follow this example. Car parking is competitively priced and is a vital source of income for the authority.”

Comments (10)

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11:54am Thu 27 Sep 12

oceancloud says...

Welcomes initiatives my backside.What's the point of welcoming initiatives that have been brought in because the new system is driving people away. The best initiative would have been not to put the new machines in the first place and save £340,000. Yet another muppet on SLDC.
Welcomes initiatives my backside.What's the point of welcoming initiatives that have been brought in because the new system is driving people away. The best initiative would have been not to put the new machines in the first place and save £340,000. Yet another muppet on SLDC. oceancloud
  • Score: 0

8:24pm Thu 27 Sep 12

Moonbase says...

Must admitt I used the machine under Booths car park, lucky enough i had my reading glasses on me.
Very small buttons.
Waste of money yet again!!!!!!!
Must admitt I used the machine under Booths car park, lucky enough i had my reading glasses on me. Very small buttons. Waste of money yet again!!!!!!! Moonbase
  • Score: 0

11:25am Fri 28 Sep 12

life cycle too says...

Moonbase wrote:
Must admitt I used the machine under Booths car park, lucky enough i had my reading glasses on me.
Very small buttons.
Waste of money yet again!!!!!!!
Plenty more money where that came from...!
[quote][p][bold]Moonbase[/bold] wrote: Must admitt I used the machine under Booths car park, lucky enough i had my reading glasses on me. Very small buttons. Waste of money yet again!!!!!!![/p][/quote]Plenty more money where that came from...! life cycle too
  • Score: 0

7:30pm Fri 28 Sep 12

FrontalLobe says...

£340,000 sounds quite a lot of council-tax payer's money to 'invest'. I may have missed something here but any business spending that amount of cash would presumably have done a lot of research into the viability of the project and all the costs. The most obvious ones being how much is currently being lost by not making this change and how long is it estimated to take to recoup the spending and start to profit from the change.

Has anyone seen any such detailed research at S.L.D.C.? I may have missed it but I have only read brief explanations from the council that do not explain in any detail how they have made this decision based on research and evidence.

Anyone at the council like to enlighten us?
£340,000 sounds quite a lot of council-tax payer's money to 'invest'. I may have missed something here but any business spending that amount of cash would presumably have done a lot of research into the viability of the project and all the costs. The most obvious ones being how much is currently being lost by not making this change and how long is it estimated to take to recoup the spending and start to profit from the change. Has anyone seen any such detailed research at S.L.D.C.? I may have missed it but I have only read brief explanations from the council that do not explain in any detail how they have made this decision based on research and evidence. Anyone at the council like to enlighten us? FrontalLobe
  • Score: 0

9:46am Sat 29 Sep 12

furthersouth says...

It's not just Kendal. All over the Lakes it's becoming increasingly expensive to have a day out. We know people who have been caught out at Brockhole by being over the time. We went to Ullswater steamers for a trip to find the parking for the day was £7! Too right, folk are being put off from visiting the Lakes. We spent a week in the Highlands this summer, we took a bag off change anticipating paying for parking, we didn't encounter one pay and display. No one abandoned cars on verges or outside houses in residential areas. All very civilised really. Not like the money grabbers of SLDC et al. Wise up Cumbria!
It's not just Kendal. All over the Lakes it's becoming increasingly expensive to have a day out. We know people who have been caught out at Brockhole by being over the time. We went to Ullswater steamers for a trip to find the parking for the day was £7! Too right, folk are being put off from visiting the Lakes. We spent a week in the Highlands this summer, we took a bag off change anticipating paying for parking, we didn't encounter one pay and display. No one abandoned cars on verges or outside houses in residential areas. All very civilised really. Not like the money grabbers of SLDC et al. Wise up Cumbria! furthersouth
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Sat 29 Sep 12

Spotty Fish says...

It beggars belief that our councillors can be so out of touch with the people that elected them. Can any one of them actually put their hand on their heart, and tell us that a single member of the public asked for a new parking system, and yet they seem to be suggesting it's for our benefit.

What is noticeable about the comments and opinions expressed, is that most of them are concerned about the impression this gives visitors of our area. It's not a selfish, this just affects me response. It seems to be genuine concern for The Lakes, Kendal and the tourist industry.
It beggars belief that our councillors can be so out of touch with the people that elected them. Can any one of them actually put their hand on their heart, and tell us that a single member of the public asked for a new parking system, and yet they seem to be suggesting it's for our benefit. What is noticeable about the comments and opinions expressed, is that most of them are concerned about the impression this gives visitors of our area. It's not a selfish, this just affects me response. It seems to be genuine concern for The Lakes, Kendal and the tourist industry. Spotty Fish
  • Score: 0

7:48pm Sat 29 Sep 12

Hobson2000 says...

Rather than remember/enter your own vehicle Reg No. Perhaps everyone only need think of the SLDC Dept responsible & enter either of the following Reg No's :-

TO55 ERS Or W4 NKR.
Rather than remember/enter your own vehicle Reg No. Perhaps everyone only need think of the SLDC Dept responsible & enter either of the following Reg No's :- TO55 ERS Or W4 NKR. Hobson2000
  • Score: 0

8:28pm Sat 29 Sep 12

Moonbase says...

life cycle too wrote:
Moonbase wrote:
Must admitt I used the machine under Booths car park, lucky enough i had my reading glasses on me.
Very small buttons.
Waste of money yet again!!!!!!!
Plenty more money where that came from...!
Would not be surpised....Potty ideas.
These people are nothing but penny millionaires......ca
cooned in there big fat capatlist world.
But the most frightening thing is that the main government is no better.
It's all Old School and will never change.
Selfish and self importance.......No common scense whatsoever.
Thick.............oh and Greedy.
As i have said before it all depends which knuckle you press!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]life cycle too[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Moonbase[/bold] wrote: Must admitt I used the machine under Booths car park, lucky enough i had my reading glasses on me. Very small buttons. Waste of money yet again!!!!!!![/p][/quote]Plenty more money where that came from...![/p][/quote]Would not be surpised....Potty ideas. These people are nothing but penny millionaires......ca cooned in there big fat capatlist world. But the most frightening thing is that the main government is no better. It's all Old School and will never change. Selfish and self importance.......No common scense whatsoever. Thick.............oh and Greedy. As i have said before it all depends which knuckle you press!!!!!! Moonbase
  • Score: 0

10:11am Sun 30 Sep 12

Lakeuk says...

The last quote is very telling of the council, two fingers up to local business, shoppers, workers.

So there you have it, the council would rather have under used, over priced car parks impacting the local economy than fully utilised, effectively priced car parks to the benefit of the local economy which would ultimatum filter through to the council in better business rate returns.
The last quote is very telling of the council, two fingers up to local business, shoppers, workers. So there you have it, the council would rather have under used, over priced car parks impacting the local economy than fully utilised, effectively priced car parks to the benefit of the local economy which would ultimatum filter through to the council in better business rate returns. Lakeuk
  • Score: 0

11:56am Sun 30 Sep 12

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

Why not cut council spending rather than raise council charging? It looks like their way to defend their own expenses or salaries. Barrow is more welcoming and the sea air beats traffic fumes any day, so Kendal finds another reason not to stop there.
Why not cut council spending rather than raise council charging? It looks like their way to defend their own expenses or salaries. Barrow is more welcoming and the sea air beats traffic fumes any day, so Kendal finds another reason not to stop there. Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 0

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