The key to a thriving town centre

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IT’S great news that we are getting free car parking in Morpeth from April 1. As a local business owner in the town, I think this is a really positive step.

It does seem odd, however, that having agreed the principle of free parking, no agreement can be reached on how the car parks should be managed post April 1.

The disc seems to have support from those who feel it worked well many years ago when the same system was in place.

It has to be said, however, that we now have a very different town centre retail offer and I know from my own business we are attracting shoppers to Morpeth from a much wider area as well as other visitors and tourists.

Those making the decisions on how the new parking regime should be managed need to look at this from all aspects. They need to understand how residents, employees and shoppers use our car park to make sure they can be properly managed. I really do struggle to see how the disc can provide the best possible option.

To ensure that people enter into the spirit of this ‘lifeline to the town’, of free car parking we need to consider retaining the continuity of the current system of obtaining a timed ticket from the machine when parking ,albeit a zero charge ticket.

The regular users are familiar with this procedure and visitors will automatically look for a ticket machine.

The issued ticket will show an expiry time within the time frame of each particular car park and enable vehicles parked to be policed to ensure the parking regime is effectively managed.

Car parking is key to a thriving town centre but needs to be simple and straightforward for everyone to be effective – please let’s get this right for Morpeth.

KEITH PETERS,

Managing Director,

The Jewellers Guild Ltd