Today’s Star columnist: Rachel Habergham

Rachael Habergham

Rachael Habergham

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There have been many national headlines recently about parking, whether it be the charges at hospital car parks or the fines imposed by many parking companies.

The story got closer to home for me this week as the car park that has been used by many in the community for over 20 years decided to impose restrictions of an hour.

Realistically, what can you do in an hour? I am sure I am not alone in doing several jobs together, as well as catching up with friends.

After doing this an hour has gone several times over.

Easy access to local businesses is vital for their growth, a statement made about many towns and cities when out-of-town shopping centres arrive with guaranteed free parking.

The community soon joined forces to object to the proposals, highlighting the importance of free parking to all local businesses. As a result one hours is now two.

This is a start but it doesn’t address the key issues. The company involved said restrictions are being imposed to address the issues caused by people parking inappropriately.

You have all seen those who use the disabled space but aren’t disabled, use a parent and baby space with no child in sight or ignore the spaces and park as near to the door as possible.

Restrictions will not address this issue, this needs something more fundamental, but often people don’t feel comfortable challenging an individual who has shown no consideration for others.

If only people would take some personal responsibility. Next time you park think about whether you are entitled to park in the space you have chosen. If there isn’t an official space think about why you are doing it and what impact it will have on others.

These people are in the minority, the restrictions will affect the majority, local residents who will have more problems with people parking outside their homes, businesses who will lose customers and individuals who won’t be able to use local business that they want to support. The community I live in will continue to fight against the restrictions to ensure it can continue to thrive.

Surely a company that has as one of its principles concern for community should know better.

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