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Parking plan could hit business, say traders
TRADERS fear their businesses could be under threat because of plans to enforce parking restrictions.
Swindon council wants to enforce parking and loading restrictions in Manchester Road.
The experimental order is attempting to clamp down on cars and delivery lorries parking on the street and clogging up the bus route, after concerns were brought to the council by residents.
It would impose a total ban on loading and unloading throughout Manchester Road, and install designated loading bays for businesses on side streets including Gladstone Street, Graham Street, Ponting Street, and Salisbury Street.
Coun Bob Wright (Lab, Central), said: “The main issue is the shops, who were given planning permission through the Central Action Plan allowing them to have shops without parking, delivery space or storage space. We have delivery vans parking on the road with five minutes for unloading, so we were finding people parking illegally and using those five minutes to park before they get a ticket.
“We are going to install the equivalent of London’s red line restrictions so buses should always have a clear route. Parking services will then be able to book people instantly.
“The key behind this was the residents. What they were finding was they were paying for residential parking permits and people were parking by the shops and not paying any fee at all for their businesses.”
A public meeting was held on September 4 when residents brought their concerns to the council.
“We have not had any direct feedback at all from businesses and they did not attend the meeting, but we have allocated a space for every one of them,” added Coun Wright. “We want people to have jobs and prosper and we want equal opportunities for everyone.”
But businesses on the street said they had been unaware of the meeting and felt under-informed.
Dan Bateman, 36, of Dan’s Cycles, said: “I had no idea about the meeting. They are cracking down on parking completely, and if they do not allow deliveries to shops we won’t be here for very long. Business is tough enough as it is.
“I just feel there is not enough help out there for us at all. The bus lane is a problem for us already, because if we have two buses in there at the same time it is impossible for us to take our deliveries because the road is completely blocked.
“I can understand residents are not happy with deliveries, but when we are open they are at work, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
“If they do this I will have to think about knocking down my garage and turning it into customer parking.”
Dogan Yilmaz, 33, of Azim’s Cash and Carry, said: “The problem is where our customers will park. Some of them have to park here to collect their stuff. We are selling some heavy duty goods, and people can’t carry them far away. I will end up losing the customers. It will be a huge hassle.”
Martin Trinder, 41, of MP Tiles, said: “It is a nightmare. We have been here for 35 years and they are going to wreck our business. They charge residents £10 a year for their parking permit, but the same space would cost us £550.
“If people come to us to buy a kitchen or bathroom but can’t find parking, they will go somewhere else.”
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