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Bedale traders call for a suspension of parking fees
ANGRY traders who say footfall in a market town has been decimated after work to restore cobbles are calling for the suspension of car parking charges.
Shopkeepers and market stallholders in Bedale warn the work, coming on top of strict parking enforcement has hit trade at what should be building up to the busiest time of year.
They’re now asking Hambleton District council to scrap parking charges while work continues, or introduce a system of two hours free parking to ease the strain.
Mark Kettlewell, of the Weigh Shop, said :”There really has been a noticeable drop in customers since the cobble work started a week ago, it’s deathly quiet. We need the parking charges scrapped while this is being done, at least then it will encourage people to come.
"We know the work needs doing, although they do seem to be making a massive job, when maybe they could have patched some of it, the noise and dust has been horrendous.”
Sam Chisholm, of Headquarters hairdressers, added:”It is another nail in the coffin, I think the parking enforcement is a good idea, but then the cobbles, and the level crossing at Aiskew is going to be closed for a week, there seems to be no communication or consultation.
"It was exceptionally quiet last week and it makes it hard for businesses, we still have to pay our business rates and taxes.”
Market stallholder Phil Matthews said trade was forty per cent down last week. “It is the cobbles, the markets been split and the noise and dust has been terrible.
"October, November, December should be the busiest time of the year, we need to encourage people into Bedale, it’s a great place to shop, suspending car parking charges would be a massive help.”
Local businesses Bedale Print Shop and Institution dress shop had also written to Bedale Town Council expressing concern about the parking enforcement warning it was being enforced too viciously and affecting trade.
County councillor Carl Les said the issue is being investigated by the County Council.
District councillor for Bedale, Coun John Noone, said he will take up the request for suspension of car parking charges with Hambleton council.
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