In Cardigan (Ceredigion), West Wales, vandals smashed the four main parking ticket machines and the council struggled to fine the £22k to replace them. Once word spread that they were out of action, rendering parking free, local business saw a dramatic surge of sales, some reporting increases of 50%.
Keith Davies, 64, former chairman of Cardigan Traders who has run a butcher’s shop there since 1978, said business was better than it had been in years.
Does this mean that parking restrictions are counter productive? Well, from this one example, it looks like yes. I am sure if it was repeated across the country, we would see similar results, however, I also believe that may not necessarily be the case for cities and large towns.
Local councils need to decide what is best for their communities and weighing parking revenues against empty shops is possibly not an easy task. One thing that is sure - a healthy high street has a positive knock on effect far beyond what many people see, so we should be supporting our local traders where ever we can - buy fruit and veg at your local market, eat and drink in local coffee shops, etc.