Anger over Dorchester car park price increase

Dorset Echo: John Fiori John Fiori

BUSINESS figures ‘vehemently oppose’ a proposal to double the price of a ticket in one of Dorchester’s most popular car parks.

In a letter obtained by the Echo, Dorchester BID chairman John Fiori asks West Dorset District Council leader David Clarke to reconsider the plan to hike prices at Fairfield car park.

In April, the price of an 8am to 6pm ticket will double from £2 to £4.

It is estimated that the council will make an extra £200,000 from the increase.

The plan has been described as ‘outrageous’ since it was backed by councillors in December.

In the letter to Mr Evans, Mr Fiori says ‘many members’ of the BID had contacted its office with their concerns.

He goes on to add: ‘We trust that you will very carefully consider the implications of this price increase before any decisions are made.

‘This change will cause a significant negative impact upon staff and business owners alike, who utilise the long stay facility.

‘These car park users could experience a 100 per cent increase in their parking charges over the course of the year.

‘We enjoy a close working relationship and we are keen to pass on the feedback that we are given to ensure that you have a balanced view of the opinions of our levy payers.’ The price hike was proposed in the annual parking report agreed by the executive committee.

Echo readers, such as 28-year-old Lauren Browne whose car was vandalised when she left it in the car park to go to work, have said they oppose the measure.

Town councillor David Taylor said he is concerned workers will be forced to park in residential areas causing more disagreements and possible vandalism.

Mr Fiori said he is yet to receive a response from the council but was compelled to write the letter because levy payers are ‘very unhappy.’ Leader of West Dorset District Council Robert Gould said: “The district council is committed to supporting businesses and keeping our town centres prosperous.

“Our short stay parking prices have remained frozen for the last eight years and I believe we offer some of the cheapest parking on the south coast.

“The council consulted the Dorchester BID and other key stakeholders on the proposed parking charges for 2014/15 and future direction of parking policy before agreeing any changes.

“It is our understanding that the BID supported all of the proposals made to the December executive committee, including the increase for Middle and Little Fairfield car park, which comes into effect in April this year.

“The increase will bring these car parks into line with the current charge for long stay parking at Top o’ Town Car Park in Dorchester and long stay car parks in the district.”

Comments (8)

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8:48am Mon 27 Jan 14

smilealoft44 says...

Trying to get £2,000000. together to spend somewhere?
Trying to get £2,000000. together to spend somewhere? smilealoft44
  • Score: 3

10:04am Mon 27 Jan 14

DorchDave says...

I saw this news posted in regards to the parking price increase in Middle & Little Fairfield to match with Top'o'Town car park in Dorchester a few weeks back.

My wife is a healthcare professional serving the community, I'm working from home provide back to the local economy by regularly shopping in town.

As a local resident with no on-street parking, Middle & Little Fairfield is my only local source of parking for my house, meaning this increase will severely effect me.

Councillor Gould remarked that this price hike is:-

"good news for shoppers, local residents and visitors. We are committed to supporting businesses and keeping our town centres prosperous. We now have some of the cheapest parking on the south coast"

I fail to see how a doubling in daily parking rates, or an increase from £240 per year to £720 on yearly permits for my primary source of parking classifies as "good news" for me as a local resident who works from home & utilises this facility.

I have attempted to approach the Council in regards to the establishment of some form of reasonable parking scheme comparatively priced with other residential parking schemes for the small number of residences on my road (6 or 7), but this has sadly been met with derision and the rather abrupt statement that my personal parking is "none of the councils concern." (Hi Tony Burt!)

The responses from the council were downright rude in their dismissal. Even to go as far as that the facility is not meant to be used by locals or workers but only for "shoppers and visitors to our towns". I know several people and this echo article also points out that the car park is widely used by workers and locals.

Whilst I cannot agree with the councils message, or the tone in which it was delivered, I can appreciate the technicality of the statement provided that resident parking is not the concern of the council, but as a resident who uses these facilities, I cannot help but perceive that this change is primarily to gain more money from visitors to the new Brewery Square development & is targeted at shoppers and tourists.

I find the attitude towards me as a resident so far quite deriding & narrow minded. A simple scheme offering reduced permits for a street of less than 10 residents should not be so unfairly dismissed. We’re not talking of a scheme that requires building, alterations or anything other than a minor clerical change. Something that would be easy to implement, will have little bearing on the car park as a whole and makes a street full of families happy seems to fit in perfectly with what the mission of a local council should be surely?

Sadly, as just a local resident and not even a business, any complaints I have or recommendations on finding a solution sadly fall on deaf ears.
I saw this news posted in regards to the parking price increase in Middle & Little Fairfield to match with Top'o'Town car park in Dorchester a few weeks back. My wife is a healthcare professional serving the community, I'm working from home provide back to the local economy by regularly shopping in town. As a local resident with no on-street parking, Middle & Little Fairfield is my only local source of parking for my house, meaning this increase will severely effect me. Councillor Gould remarked that this price hike is:- "good news for shoppers, local residents and visitors. We are committed to supporting businesses and keeping our town centres prosperous. We now have some of the cheapest parking on the south coast" I fail to see how a doubling in daily parking rates, or an increase from £240 per year to £720 on yearly permits for my primary source of parking classifies as "good news" for me as a local resident who works from home & utilises this facility. I have attempted to approach the Council in regards to the establishment of some form of reasonable parking scheme comparatively priced with other residential parking schemes for the small number of residences on my road (6 or 7), but this has sadly been met with derision and the rather abrupt statement that my personal parking is "none of the councils concern." (Hi Tony Burt!) The responses from the council were downright rude in their dismissal. Even to go as far as that the facility is not meant to be used by locals or workers but only for "shoppers and visitors to our towns". I know several people and this echo article also points out that the car park is widely used by workers and locals. Whilst I cannot agree with the councils message, or the tone in which it was delivered, I can appreciate the technicality of the statement provided that resident parking is not the concern of the council, but as a resident who uses these facilities, I cannot help but perceive that this change is primarily to gain more money from visitors to the new Brewery Square development & is targeted at shoppers and tourists. I find the attitude towards me as a resident so far quite deriding & narrow minded. A simple scheme offering reduced permits for a street of less than 10 residents should not be so unfairly dismissed. We’re not talking of a scheme that requires building, alterations or anything other than a minor clerical change. Something that would be easy to implement, will have little bearing on the car park as a whole and makes a street full of families happy seems to fit in perfectly with what the mission of a local council should be surely? Sadly, as just a local resident and not even a business, any complaints I have or recommendations on finding a solution sadly fall on deaf ears. DorchDave
  • Score: 1

11:31am Mon 27 Jan 14

JamesYoung says...

smilealoft44 wrote:
Trying to get £2,000000. together to spend somewhere?
Quiet. We serfs aren't supposed to see the obvious.
[quote][p][bold]smilealoft44[/bold] wrote: Trying to get £2,000000. together to spend somewhere?[/p][/quote]Quiet. We serfs aren't supposed to see the obvious. JamesYoung
  • Score: 2

3:51pm Mon 27 Jan 14

smilealoft44 says...

DorchDave wrote:
I saw this news posted in regards to the parking price increase in Middle & Little Fairfield to match with Top'o'Town car park in Dorchester a few weeks back.

My wife is a healthcare professional serving the community, I'm working from home provide back to the local economy by regularly shopping in town.

As a local resident with no on-street parking, Middle & Little Fairfield is my only local source of parking for my house, meaning this increase will severely effect me.

Councillor Gould remarked that this price hike is:-

"good news for shoppers, local residents and visitors. We are committed to supporting businesses and keeping our town centres prosperous. We now have some of the cheapest parking on the south coast"

I fail to see how a doubling in daily parking rates, or an increase from £240 per year to £720 on yearly permits for my primary source of parking classifies as "good news" for me as a local resident who works from home & utilises this facility.

I have attempted to approach the Council in regards to the establishment of some form of reasonable parking scheme comparatively priced with other residential parking schemes for the small number of residences on my road (6 or 7), but this has sadly been met with derision and the rather abrupt statement that my personal parking is "none of the councils concern." (Hi Tony Burt!)

The responses from the council were downright rude in their dismissal. Even to go as far as that the facility is not meant to be used by locals or workers but only for "shoppers and visitors to our towns". I know several people and this echo article also points out that the car park is widely used by workers and locals.

Whilst I cannot agree with the councils message, or the tone in which it was delivered, I can appreciate the technicality of the statement provided that resident parking is not the concern of the council, but as a resident who uses these facilities, I cannot help but perceive that this change is primarily to gain more money from visitors to the new Brewery Square development & is targeted at shoppers and tourists.

I find the attitude towards me as a resident so far quite deriding & narrow minded. A simple scheme offering reduced permits for a street of less than 10 residents should not be so unfairly dismissed. We’re not talking of a scheme that requires building, alterations or anything other than a minor clerical change. Something that would be easy to implement, will have little bearing on the car park as a whole and makes a street full of families happy seems to fit in perfectly with what the mission of a local council should be surely?

Sadly, as just a local resident and not even a business, any complaints I have or recommendations on finding a solution sadly fall on deaf ears.
I am sure the only way forward is to vote these people out. BUT they know you will not take on the job as councillors so they do what they like and not what we want. Stand up and be counted i will. Iam starting tonight at the PORTLAND tax hike meeting. COME ON WAKE UP.
[quote][p][bold]DorchDave[/bold] wrote: I saw this news posted in regards to the parking price increase in Middle & Little Fairfield to match with Top'o'Town car park in Dorchester a few weeks back. My wife is a healthcare professional serving the community, I'm working from home provide back to the local economy by regularly shopping in town. As a local resident with no on-street parking, Middle & Little Fairfield is my only local source of parking for my house, meaning this increase will severely effect me. Councillor Gould remarked that this price hike is:- "good news for shoppers, local residents and visitors. We are committed to supporting businesses and keeping our town centres prosperous. We now have some of the cheapest parking on the south coast" I fail to see how a doubling in daily parking rates, or an increase from £240 per year to £720 on yearly permits for my primary source of parking classifies as "good news" for me as a local resident who works from home & utilises this facility. I have attempted to approach the Council in regards to the establishment of some form of reasonable parking scheme comparatively priced with other residential parking schemes for the small number of residences on my road (6 or 7), but this has sadly been met with derision and the rather abrupt statement that my personal parking is "none of the councils concern." (Hi Tony Burt!) The responses from the council were downright rude in their dismissal. Even to go as far as that the facility is not meant to be used by locals or workers but only for "shoppers and visitors to our towns". I know several people and this echo article also points out that the car park is widely used by workers and locals. Whilst I cannot agree with the councils message, or the tone in which it was delivered, I can appreciate the technicality of the statement provided that resident parking is not the concern of the council, but as a resident who uses these facilities, I cannot help but perceive that this change is primarily to gain more money from visitors to the new Brewery Square development & is targeted at shoppers and tourists. I find the attitude towards me as a resident so far quite deriding & narrow minded. A simple scheme offering reduced permits for a street of less than 10 residents should not be so unfairly dismissed. We’re not talking of a scheme that requires building, alterations or anything other than a minor clerical change. Something that would be easy to implement, will have little bearing on the car park as a whole and makes a street full of families happy seems to fit in perfectly with what the mission of a local council should be surely? Sadly, as just a local resident and not even a business, any complaints I have or recommendations on finding a solution sadly fall on deaf ears.[/p][/quote]I am sure the only way forward is to vote these people out. BUT they know you will not take on the job as councillors so they do what they like and not what we want. Stand up and be counted i will. Iam starting tonight at the PORTLAND tax hike meeting. COME ON WAKE UP. smilealoft44
  • Score: 1

5:42pm Mon 27 Jan 14

CoogarUK.com says...

JamesYoung wrote:
smilealoft44 wrote:
Trying to get £2,000000. together to spend somewhere?
Quiet. We serfs aren't supposed to see the obvious.
Or express our opinions.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]smilealoft44[/bold] wrote: Trying to get £2,000000. together to spend somewhere?[/p][/quote]Quiet. We serfs aren't supposed to see the obvious.[/p][/quote]Or express our opinions. CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 0

5:46pm Mon 27 Jan 14

CoogarUK.com says...

Amazing how the man pictured above came out broadly in support of the charges hike when they were first announced. Maybe the Dorchester BID Chairman is in the wrong job if he's that much out of touch with his members.
Amazing how the man pictured above came out broadly in support of the charges hike when they were first announced. Maybe the Dorchester BID Chairman is in the wrong job if he's that much out of touch with his members. CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 0

7:48pm Mon 27 Jan 14

westendcat says...

If we did not have this layer of a non-job superimposed over what the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce have done quite effectively over the years, the savings to be gained from abolishing BID would go a long towardssupporting local residents and businesses.
Abolish BID and the levy. Its just a bunch of skimmers leaching of the backs of legit businesses and residents.
If we did not have this layer of a non-job superimposed over what the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce have done quite effectively over the years, the savings to be gained from abolishing BID would go a long towardssupporting local residents and businesses. Abolish BID and the levy. Its just a bunch of skimmers leaching of the backs of legit businesses and residents. westendcat
  • Score: 0

6:21pm Tue 28 Jan 14

ju_lee says...

Dorchester town centre is buzzing these days and much busier than in previous years and way busier than Weymouth now. I strongly believe that this is largely due to the very reasonable parking charges in the town. It encourages shoppers for sure. I struggle to find a space sometimes on Saturdays. Dorchester is also winning over Weymouth shoppers as our town offers more in the way of shop variety and cheaper parking, which has also been made quicker by road by putting in the new bypass!! I strongly think that parking charges should remain the same. The free parking after 6pm is also a good incentive to bring people into the town in the evenings. If you have to increase charges why double it. It's hardly in line with earning increases etc. an increase of 20p-50p would be more realistic and fair. Don't frighten shoppers off now you've filled our town and shops. If it's not broke then don't mess with it!......if the town is busy and flourishing then you've got it right!!
Dorchester town centre is buzzing these days and much busier than in previous years and way busier than Weymouth now. I strongly believe that this is largely due to the very reasonable parking charges in the town. It encourages shoppers for sure. I struggle to find a space sometimes on Saturdays. Dorchester is also winning over Weymouth shoppers as our town offers more in the way of shop variety and cheaper parking, which has also been made quicker by road by putting in the new bypass!! I strongly think that parking charges should remain the same. The free parking after 6pm is also a good incentive to bring people into the town in the evenings. If you have to increase charges why double it. It's hardly in line with earning increases etc. an increase of 20p-50p would be more realistic and fair. Don't frighten shoppers off now you've filled our town and shops. If it's not broke then don't mess with it!......if the town is busy and flourishing then you've got it right!! ju_lee
  • Score: 1

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