Traders voice fears over parking costs

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TRADERS in Burnley town centre have hit out at an increase in car park charges which will see them forced to pay as much as £8 a day.

From November 7th, the price of a full day’s parking at the former Millennium car park, in Brown Street, now run by the Charter Walk shopping centre, will rise by £5.50 from the current rate of £2.50 while other tariffs at the car park will remain unaffected.

Traders working nearby who use the car park while they are at work claim they are being singled out.

Mr John Stubbs, who works at Discount Cards, in Market Square, said that only traders use the car park for a full day and therefore are being targeted by the price hike.

“It only affects people who work in the town,” said Mr Stubbs (65), who lives in Read and has had businesses in Burnley for many years. “There is not enough to keep shoppers in Burnley for eight hours. I’ve traded in Burnley all my life. As it is, they’ve got guaranteed money there. We can’t afford to pay £8 a day, we’re going to have to find somewhere else to park and they will lose money.

“If the prices had gone up proportionately for everybody it wouldn’t be so bad but it only affects people who park there all day. Parking in Burnley has always been a bone of contention.”

Another trader, who did not want to be named, said: “For those working full-time in Burnley town centre, this is a cost of £40 per week and we believe this will be sending people away from the town centre in the run-up to Christmas. We have no reason to be matching city centre parking prices.

“Those who work full-time in Burnley town centre have been offered a monthly contract at a cost of £60 – previously £35 when owned by NCP. We believe this will have a huge impact on the footflow of Burnley town centre.”

Angry town centre workers have sent a letter of complaint to Burnley Borough Council and Charter Walk.

Mr Alex Wagstaff, partner at Addington Capital, which owns Charter Walk, said: “In an effort to provide consistency in the pricing policy for shoppers, Charter Walk shopping centre will introduce similar charges as those that currently exist for their Bankfield car park, which has been operated by the centre for many years.

“As with the Bankfield car park, visitors to Charter Walk can park at Curzon Square multi-storey, at a cost of £2.50 for up to four hours, which provides sufficient shopping time. For those visitors intending on parking all day on a long-term daily basis, season tickets are available which equate to £3 per day.

“An important change planned to the operating procedures for the car park revolves around making sure the lower levels of the car park are accessible for shopper visits with long stay parking areas available at the upper levels. To ensure that new retailers continue to be attracted to the shopping centre over the next 12 months, it’s vital that easy accessible car parking is made available to cater for the increased shopper demand forecasted.”