Primetime TV show to study Matlock Bath parking charge

Thousands of bikers rode through Matlock Bath in protest after the plans were announced. Picture: Andrew Roe.
Thousands of bikers rode through Matlock Bath in protest after the plans were announced. Picture: Andrew Roe.
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A primetime TV documentary will look at the controversial introduction of a parking charge in Matlock Bath.

In May, Derbyshire County Council agreed to start charging motorcyclists 50p an hour to park on the village promenade.

The move has been the subject of fierce opposition in the biking community and a specially-organised protest ride at the resort earlier this year attracted hundreds of riders.

Now, an episode of ITV1 series Parking Wars will study the contentious idea and hear from people affected by the charge.

Roeland Doust, producer and director of the show, said: “Filmed over the course of a few months, we follow bikers as they lead a massive protest against the plans, hear from shopkeepers and finally witness the decision made inside the council meeting.”

As reported earlier this year, Allison Chouhan, who has owned the Bikers’ Gearbox shop on the promenade for the last 18 years, was one of those who opposed the proposal.

She said: “I won’t have a business because of this – it has been hard enough the last couple of years and now this happens.

“It is not just about the 50p charge – the public come to see the bikes and we have noticed that bikers are already starting to go to other places.”

Allison Page, from Nottinghamshire, added: “I go to Matlock Bath every weekend during the summer and this will kill it.

“There was so much opposition in the consultation but the council took no notice.

“The shopkeepers are all against it except one.”

Proposing the change at the council meeting, Councillor Dean Collins, cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure, said the scheme was an improvement on a similar one rejected five years ago.

He said the new plan would ensure a regular turnover of parking spaces in Matlock Bath and that the village would benefit from an improved parking system as a result of the ‘self-financing’ scheme.

Council leader Anne Western added: “We recognise there is a strength of feeling on this issue but I believe that people will recognise in the long run that this is a good thing.”

Viewers will be able to watch the Parking Wars episode at 8pm on Tuesday, September 27.