Anger as Dorchester's Fairfield car park charges to double

Dorset Echo: Anger as Dorchester's Fairfield car park charges to double Anger as Dorchester's Fairfield car park charges to double

PARKING RATES are set to double in one of Dorchester's most popular car parks.

West Dorset councillors have agreed to raise the cost of all-day parking in Fairfield car park due to 'increased demand.'

The council predicts it will make an extra £200,000 a year as the price of a ticket to park between 8am and 6pm increases from £2 to £4.

The annual parking report, which was agreed by the Executive Committee, says prices need 'aligning' with the rates at Top O'Town car park.

Opinion is divided over the proposals with some saying it is 'not surprising' and others worried about the knock-on effect to residential streets.

The report explains: 'Demand in this one area of Dorchester is threatening to outgrow supply.

'As such, more must be done to encourage visitors to use the Dorchester Park and Ride gateway facility.

'It is proposed therefore, that by aligning the charging structures in these two car parks, it will provide a more consistent 'banded' approach to parking in Dorchester that will encourage a more evenly balanced dispersal of parking habits and, it is hoped, encourage more town centre employees, short term contractors, commuters and even business owners to use the Park and Ride.'

The changes, which come in to force in April, mean a £2.60 charge for up to three hours of parking where there is currently none.

Town councillor David Taylor said: “It's outrageous. We have got great trade and investment and we have managed to keep the town vibrant.

“The town council has endeavoured to make sure that independent retailers and bigger businesses are well looked after.

“This is not going to make them happy.

“It's the price of a cup of coffee in town which people will now have to spend on parking and not investing in local trade.”

He said he is concerned that more people will now use residential parking around the town and particularly in Poundbury.

Elsewhere the agreed proposals are 'good news' for shoppers and traders as prices in most other district council-owned car parks remain frozen.

Barrierless pay on exit parking will be piloted in Dorchester, Lyme Regis, Bridport and Sherborne.

Phil Gordon of Dorchester BID said: “That the council is bringing the price of Fairfield car park in line with the charges in car parks across the rest of Dorchester isn't really that surprising.

“There are quite a few measures that have been agreed which are extremely good news for Dorchester.

“Bringing one car park price up to £4 is a very difficult thing to argue against when you look at the cost of parking anywhere else.

“The price is frozen in all other car parks and we will also be getting pay on exit parking, which is great news.

“The BID overwhelmingly supports the initiative for pay on exit parking- it's something we have been asking for since 2008.

“It will make it much easier for people to come in to the town.

“For those who are able to use computers, you set up an account and you can simply drive in and out of Dorchester's car parks, not worry about it, and the system debits your account without you having to do anything.”

PANEL WHAT COUNCILLORS HAVE DECIDED FOR WEST DORSET PARKING IN 2014/15 · A general prize freeze in council-owned car parks, with the exception of Fairfield.

· The minimum long stay all-day charge in all West Dorset car parks will rise to £2 · Free Sunday parking all year round in Dorchester, Beaminster, Bridport and Sherborne · Free overnight parking in all West Dorset car parks · Prize freeze on shoppers permits and all other permits/ season tickets · Continuing the policy of allowing motorists to pay more proportionate 'on-the-spot' fines and expand upon its 'fairer to the motorist' approach · Christmas concessions in all regions

Comments (8)

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1:04pm Fri 13 Dec 13

CoogarUK.com says...

It's certainly a case of supply & demand alright. The additional demand is of the council's own making due to the number of parking spaces it has destroyed (with more destruction yet to come, in Trinity Street).

I'm not surprised to see WDDC's poodle Dorchester BID is broadly in support of the latest nail in Dorchester town centre's coffin.
It's certainly a case of supply & demand alright. The additional demand is of the council's own making due to the number of parking spaces it has destroyed (with more destruction yet to come, in Trinity Street). I'm not surprised to see WDDC's poodle Dorchester BID is broadly in support of the latest nail in Dorchester town centre's coffin. CoogarUK.com

2:43pm Fri 13 Dec 13

pigfarmer says...

What about issuing tickets to blue badge holders who seem able to park anywhere, willy-nilly, especially on yellow lines, free of charge.

Or is that discrimination ?
What about issuing tickets to blue badge holders who seem able to park anywhere, willy-nilly, especially on yellow lines, free of charge. Or is that discrimination ? pigfarmer

2:47pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Get a grip says...

Two points of interest

The WDDC staff who used to part behind the old offices now part for free in this car part. Pushing up demand.

As Cllr Taylor will know the town council get a proportion of the car park income, so they will directly benifit.
Two points of interest The WDDC staff who used to part behind the old offices now part for free in this car part. Pushing up demand. As Cllr Taylor will know the town council get a proportion of the car park income, so they will directly benifit. Get a grip

3:47pm Fri 13 Dec 13

alan_h says...

From the report:

"As such, more must be done to encourage visitors to use the Dorchester Park and Ride gateway facility."

Oh, really, just what Park & Ride might that be? Does the writer mean the one that runs straight to County Hall and avoids the town centre? Fat lot of use that is for most of us.

This article does not mention changes in the charges on Wednesdays which, as the photograph clearly shows, are quite different from those that apply on other days.
From the report: "As such, more must be done to encourage visitors to use the Dorchester Park and Ride gateway facility." Oh, really, just what Park & Ride might that be? Does the writer mean the one that runs straight to County Hall and avoids the town centre? Fat lot of use that is for most of us. This article does not mention changes in the charges on Wednesdays which, as the photograph clearly shows, are quite different from those that apply on other days. alan_h

5:56pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Hippyhooker says...

Oh dear, now those that boast they waste more in petrol than parking charges in Weymouth travel to Dorch to shop, what will they do now?
Oh dear, now those that boast they waste more in petrol than parking charges in Weymouth travel to Dorch to shop, what will they do now? Hippyhooker

7:54pm Fri 13 Dec 13

westbaywonder says...

Hippyhooker wrote:
Oh dear, now those that boast they waste more in petrol than parking charges in Weymouth travel to Dorch to shop, what will they do now?
Go to Yeovil in Somerset.
[quote][p][bold]Hippyhooker[/bold] wrote: Oh dear, now those that boast they waste more in petrol than parking charges in Weymouth travel to Dorch to shop, what will they do now?[/p][/quote]Go to Yeovil in Somerset. westbaywonder

8:50pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Get a grip says...

Get a grip wrote:
Two points of interest

The WDDC staff who used to part behind the old offices now part for free in this car part. Pushing up demand.

As Cllr Taylor will know the town council get a proportion of the car park income, so they will directly benifit.
I mean Park
[quote][p][bold]Get a grip[/bold] wrote: Two points of interest The WDDC staff who used to part behind the old offices now part for free in this car part. Pushing up demand. As Cllr Taylor will know the town council get a proportion of the car park income, so they will directly benifit.[/p][/quote]I mean Park Get a grip

11:55pm Sun 15 Dec 13

MaidofDorset says...

The Council caused the 'increased demand' for parking itself by building offices on the shoppers car park behind Goulds and starting building work on the car park between Iceland and Somerfield. £4 a day to park added to the cost of petrol and car maintenance must has many shop workers wondering if they'd be better off not working in town on minimum wage. Do we want a thriving town centre or not?
The Council caused the 'increased demand' for parking itself by building offices on the shoppers car park behind Goulds and starting building work on the car park between Iceland and Somerfield. £4 a day to park added to the cost of petrol and car maintenance must has many shop workers wondering if they'd be better off not working in town on minimum wage. Do we want a thriving town centre or not? MaidofDorset

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