Call for cheaper parking to boost Darlington town centre trade

First published in News
Last updated

A DARLINGTON business owner is calling on the council to review its parking policy to boost flagging town centre trade.

Following the move by Middlesbrough Council to introduce two hours of free parking in all council-operated car parks and some residential streets, Beryl Hankin, owner of Guru Boutique, in Blackwellgate, is urging Darlington Borough Council to consider more attractive parking rates to attract more shoppers back to the town centre.

She believes that while business owners are doing their best to keep trading in the town centre, they need help from the council with more convenient and attractive parking policies in order to continue attracting customers.

“In four years I have never known it as quiet as this,” she said. “I absolutely understand that the council is not the cause of all the difficulties people are experiencing just now, that is down to the state of the economy.

“All we want to do is to make sure the council hear the message from the businesses here in Darlington that while we are doing our bit for the town by being welcoming, we do need help to continue to do that in the form of more attractive and convenient parking policies.

“Browsing time is so important to businesses, but the expensive parking means people either rush in, get what they need and go, or don’t come into town at all.”

A council spokeswoman said: “The council is currently considering its parking strategy for the whole Borough that results from its previous work on proposed land uses and regeneration projects such at the new town centre cinema.

“This will include a review of the locations, number of spaces needed, the nature of that need, for example, for leisure or work, the quality of the offer and a review of pricing policy and payment methods.”

It is hoped these options will be reported to the cabinet in May, and residents and businesses will have the opportunity to submit ideas and suggestions as it develops.

Comments (9)

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3:39pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Madadrian says...

I can park for 3 hours for a pound in Stockton. There are more shops, a bigger market and public toilets. Darlington is being killed off by a council of incompetents
I can park for 3 hours for a pound in Stockton. There are more shops, a bigger market and public toilets. Darlington is being killed off by a council of incompetents Madadrian
  • Score: 5

3:53pm Sun 17 Feb 13

hemmi1 says...

it all goes to help pay bill and ada's wages. you know what they say" every little helps "
it all goes to help pay bill and ada's wages. you know what they say" every little helps " hemmi1
  • Score: 3

4:14pm Sun 17 Feb 13

MSG says...

It has to go back to being free on sundays and a pound an hour other times or people will go to Teesside!
It has to go back to being free on sundays and a pound an hour other times or people will go to Teesside! MSG
  • Score: 2

10:54pm Sun 17 Feb 13

hemmi1 says...

as a point of principal i will never pay to park there are plenty of north east towns not charging parking fees the closest being newton aycliffe go on swallow your pride and park for free they have a better selection of shops inany case and thev local bus company dont think they stink (see ariva s new advert for darlington)
as a point of principal i will never pay to park there are plenty of north east towns not charging parking fees the closest being newton aycliffe go on swallow your pride and park for free they have a better selection of shops inany case and thev local bus company dont think they stink (see ariva s new advert for darlington) hemmi1
  • Score: 1

9:21am Mon 18 Feb 13

miketually says...

Somebody has to pay for car parks. Why not the people using them?
Somebody has to pay for car parks. Why not the people using them? miketually
  • Score: -5

12:12pm Mon 18 Feb 13

HSC says...

I spent £5.40 for 4 hours parking at Newcastle quayside yesterday. Why?

Because it's a nice place to spend a few hours with my family on a Sunday; Art Galleries, bars, restaurants, an interesting market and quality shops with stuff I want to buy.

Car parking charges aren't the issue - it's the lack of attractions, quality shops and things to do within Darlington.

People seem obsessed with the idea that they have a right to FREE PARKING wherever they go - Why?

It's your car - you're leaving it somewhere, why should you not pay.

I think the people who object to paying a couple of quid for parking are probably not the ones a town centre want to attract - they're not going to be spending a lot of money in shops and cafes are they?

Plus in Darlington - most people can walk into the town centre within 25-30 minutes - hardly a chore - much less by bike!
I spent £5.40 for 4 hours parking at Newcastle quayside yesterday. Why? Because it's a nice place to spend a few hours with my family on a Sunday; Art Galleries, bars, restaurants, an interesting market and quality shops with stuff I want to buy. Car parking charges aren't the issue - it's the lack of attractions, quality shops and things to do within Darlington. People seem obsessed with the idea that they have a right to FREE PARKING wherever they go - Why? It's your car - you're leaving it somewhere, why should you not pay. I think the people who object to paying a couple of quid for parking are probably not the ones a town centre want to attract - they're not going to be spending a lot of money in shops and cafes are they? Plus in Darlington - most people can walk into the town centre within 25-30 minutes - hardly a chore - much less by bike! HSC
  • Score: -2

2:46pm Tue 19 Feb 13

miketually says...

"In 2009, TfL conducted research to assess the economic importance to town centres of the different modes of arrival. The research found that people walking or travelling by bike spent more in local town centres than those travelling to town centres by bus or car." (And those arriving by bus spent more than those arriving by car.) - http://www.tfl.gov.u
k/assets/downloads/r
oadusers/cycling-rev
olution-end-of-year_
review.pdf (page 40)
"In 2009, TfL conducted research to assess the economic importance to town centres of the different modes of arrival. The research found that people walking or travelling by bike spent more in local town centres than those travelling to town centres by bus or car." (And those arriving by bus spent more than those arriving by car.) - http://www.tfl.gov.u k/assets/downloads/r oadusers/cycling-rev olution-end-of-year_ review.pdf (page 40) miketually
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Homshaw1 says...

miketually wrote:
"In 2009, TfL conducted research to assess the economic importance to town centres of the different modes of arrival. The research found that people walking or travelling by bike spent more in local town centres than those travelling to town centres by bus or car." (And those arriving by bus spent more than those arriving by car.) - http://www.tfl.gov.u

k/assets/downloads/r

oadusers/cycling-rev

olution-end-of-year_

review.pdf (page 40)
What applies to London does not apply to the rest of the UK. Some people do not own cars because parking in London is expensive and public transport is better

Public areas should be used in a manner that derives the most benefit for the ratepayer's generally not in a manner that lines the council's pockets
[quote][p][bold]miketually[/bold] wrote: "In 2009, TfL conducted research to assess the economic importance to town centres of the different modes of arrival. The research found that people walking or travelling by bike spent more in local town centres than those travelling to town centres by bus or car." (And those arriving by bus spent more than those arriving by car.) - http://www.tfl.gov.u k/assets/downloads/r oadusers/cycling-rev olution-end-of-year_ review.pdf (page 40)[/p][/quote]What applies to London does not apply to the rest of the UK. Some people do not own cars because parking in London is expensive and public transport is better Public areas should be used in a manner that derives the most benefit for the ratepayer's generally not in a manner that lines the council's pockets Homshaw1
  • Score: 0

11:13am Thu 21 Feb 13

miketually says...

"What applies to London does not apply to the rest of the UK"

I can't find it online any more, but I'm sure research done in Darlington a few years ago, by SocialData for the start for the Cycle Demonstration Town project, showed a similar pattern.

"Some people do not own cars because parking in London is expensive and public transport is better"

So, if we improve public transport and make car parking more expensive... ;)
"What applies to London does not apply to the rest of the UK" I can't find it online any more, but I'm sure research done in Darlington a few years ago, by SocialData for the start for the Cycle Demonstration Town project, showed a similar pattern. "Some people do not own cars because parking in London is expensive and public transport is better" So, if we improve public transport and make car parking more expensive... ;) miketually
  • Score: 0

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