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Parking fees raise £87,000 in Dorchester over one year
MORE THAN £87,000 has been raked in by the county council from pay and display parking in Dorchester this year while traders say they’re suffering.
The council decided to introduce pay and display in August 2010. Since then, it has made £369,000.
A further £446,715.73 has been made from parking fines since 2008.
Although income from parking can’t be spent elsewhere, traders say it’s a lot for the council to have made when they’ve seen a fall in business.
As reported last month, they are calling on the council to ease their parking problems.
Customers of independent traders in High East street are unable to legally park outside the shops.
Chris Hazell, owner of Alter Ego fancy dress shop, said she doesn’t see the area as a viable business destination in the future. She said the council could raise business rates slightly and set up a free parking initiative because the yellow lines and on-street parking is driving customers away.
She said: “I fully accept the council has to make its money but it is favouring bigger businesses over smaller ones.
“It’s a huge amount of money.
“I think if there was free parking and business rates went up a small amount, we would get more customers and everybody would gain.”
She said that people are more likely to shop at superstores such as Tesco because parking is easier and free.
She added: “I don’t see a long-term future here as commercial premises.”
James Barwick, of Harmony Music in the Forum Centre, pictured left, Trinity Street, said: “As far as I am aware, the council are not allowed to put in road-side parking if it is intended for additional profit.
“If there’s a problem they’re trying to solve they’re allowed to do it, but not legally for financial gain.
“But it is difficult with those numbers to see anything other than financial gain. “They really are trying to push people out of the town centre.”
“For every ten people who have to pay £1 an hour, probably five of those will think ‘no I’ll just go to Tesco’.”
'Ensures service is not a burden'
Simon Gledhill, Dorset County Council’s manager for parking services, said: “On-street parking services operating under the Traffic Management Act 2004 are not funded from the County Council General Fund but are self financing from revenue generated from on-street activities, such as Penalty Charge Notices and pay and display.
“This is done so that the service is not a burden upon the public purse.
“For the past few years, this service has closed its annual parking account, once all outgoings are catered for, with a small surplus.
“This surplus can only be used to help support services and demands as specified under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 s.55, such as environmental matters, park and ride and Sustrans.”
THE INCOME raised over the last six months from pay and display in Dorchester averages £2,250 per week.
So the council says based on that figure, the following was made through pay and display parking:
2010 = (21 weeks part year) = £47,250
2011 = £117,000
2012 = £117,000
2013 = (39 weeks so far this year) = £87,750
Income of all Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) handed out in Dorchester:
2008/2009 = £75,564.30
2009/2010 = £94,549.39
2010/2011 = £94,842.54
2011/2012 = £102,717.50
2012/2013 = £79,042.00
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