Concerns raised over parking cost increase in Dorchester

Dorset Echo: REVIEW NEEDED: Double fees are planned for Fairfield car park. REVIEW NEEDED: Double fees are planned for Fairfield car park.

A ‘FUNDAMENTAL review’ of Dorchester’s long-stay parking is needed after concerns over doubling prices, a meeting heard.

Dorchester town councillors have become the latest to voice fears over changes at Fairfield car park.

As reported in the Echo, all-day parking will increase from £2 to £4 from April.

West Dorset District Council says this will ‘bring it in line’ with Top O’ Town car park and others in the area.

The authority is set to make an additional £200,000 a year from the increase.

But town councillors will write a letter of concern after hearing from worried residents.

Councillor David Taylor told the full council that he had been in touch with vandalism victim Lauren Browne and questioned how WDDC could justify doubling prices with no plans to install CCTV.

As reported in the Echo last month, Miss Browne’s car was badly damaged when she left it in the car park to go to work.

Coun Taylor added: “I have been contacted by people in the town about the car park – it is dangerous. It needs to be addressed urgently.”

He said WDDC was ‘running away yet again’ from concerns and not ‘taking any responsibility for it.’ Coun Richard Biggs added: “There is no streetlighting whatsoever in the car park.

“People shouldn’t be charged after dark, which in the winter is about 4.30pm.”

He said that although ins-talling CCTV would be ‘an awful lot of money’, ‘there is no reason why’ the district council couldn’t do it.

Since the proposal to double the price was agreed as part of WDDC’s annual parking report, Dorchester BID, Dorchester Chamber of Commerce, Brew-ery Square developer Andrew Wadsworth and several residents have made their opinions known.

Coun Molly Rennie said consultation over the increase felt ‘rushed’ and she and others didn’t have the chance to check details.

Concerns have been raised that the price increase will further push motorists in to residential streets, causing more incidents of vandalism and problems.

Coun Robin Potter said that because of this and other issues, there needs to be a ‘fundamental review of parking around the town.’

Reaction to comments

REACTING to the comments, leader of West Dorset District Council, Robert Gould said: “I am confident the district council consulted its key stakeholders properly about the planned charge increases at Fairfield and that we have made a sound decision.

“The increase aims to bring Middle and Little Fairfield car parks into line with the current charges for permits and long stay parking at Top O’ Town car park in Dorchester, as well as long stay car parking in other towns in the district.

“Setting parking policy requires the council to balance the needs of residents, businesses and other groups, and it is not possible to please all people all of the time. Looking at the wider picture however, the district council continues to offer some of the cheapest parking on the south coast with short stay prices frozen for the last eight years and free overnight and Sunday parking offered in all of its Dorchester car parks.”

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:54pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Tinker2 says...

Dorchester Town Council should be allowed to govern it's own affairs in it's own town and make the decisions. Gould and his inner-circle need only notify following their decision after some nominal keystakeholder consulting. Sorry town council, traders, workers, residents and visitors, it is no use shutting the stable door after the Gould charger has bolted where he will !
Dorchester Town Council should be allowed to govern it's own affairs in it's own town and make the decisions. Gould and his inner-circle need only notify following their decision after some nominal keystakeholder consulting. Sorry town council, traders, workers, residents and visitors, it is no use shutting the stable door after the Gould charger has bolted where he will ! Tinker2

3:58pm Wed 5 Feb 14

CoogarUK.com says...

Don't hold your breath waiting for west Dorset District Council to take any notice of the majority of electors' opinions.
Don't hold your breath waiting for west Dorset District Council to take any notice of the majority of electors' opinions. CoogarUK.com

4:33pm Wed 5 Feb 14

mr commonsense says...

As usual Clr Robert Gould speaks with forked tongue, ask him who were consulted and when.
It seems to me he must have a press person who writes all his statements as always he is right and we, who pay for everything, are wrong.
I wonder if Mrs Gould comes to Dorchester and uses the centre of town car parks for her shopping ? But then Sherborne is very genteel .
I am fed up with this man and his cohorts and wish to see the back of him, methinks there would be a lot of support within Dorchester for getting rid of this pompous man.
As usual Clr Robert Gould speaks with forked tongue, ask him who were consulted and when. It seems to me he must have a press person who writes all his statements as always he is right and we, who pay for everything, are wrong. I wonder if Mrs Gould comes to Dorchester and uses the centre of town car parks for her shopping ? But then Sherborne is very genteel . I am fed up with this man and his cohorts and wish to see the back of him, methinks there would be a lot of support within Dorchester for getting rid of this pompous man. mr commonsense

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree