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Opinion: Making people pay to use car park is making the roads cluttered

Just when you think councillors at Canterbury City Council can’t make any more calamitous calls they go and drop another clanger.

Even if you put aside all the rational reasons for having a sensible parking policy these people can’t even get their sums right and are throwing away money for the residents they are supposed to represent.

The car park in Herne was once free and very busy. Picture: Secret Thinker
The car park in Herne was once free and very busy. Picture: Secret Thinker

Allow me to explain. I discovered a very useful car park, hidden away off the beaten track, which was just a few minutes’ walk to the beach and therefore I visited as often as I could to exercise both my hound and myself. At the halfway point of this jaunt I’d treat myself to a well-earned pint and allow Coca to stir up the pub dogs.

But, this once free, incredibly well-used, car park has introduced a daily charge and now no-one parks there. Instead, they clutter up the local residential roads, park on pavements or, presumably, go elsewhere.

And the reason the maths is all wrong, there was one of the 13 parking spaces occupied when I arrived and the same car was still there three hours later when I left. If they reduced the rate to just 25% of the current charge and filled the whole car park (just like it used to be) they’d collect three times the cash they are currently taking in.

As I say, this is just simple arithmetic, and doesn’t even take into account other perfectly reasonable considerations – old codgers without the means to make online payment, homeowners having their driveways blocked and the revenue lost to nearby businesses.

I realise I’m late to this particular party and hundreds of infuriated villagers in Herne have already launched an online petition in an effort to get the 600% per cent increase in charges at their car park reversed.

And, before you bleat on about the council having a lack of cash, it already takes in a fortune from people like you. The problem is a small army of paper shufflers on exorbitant salaries who flip-flop on their decisions and throw good money after bad.

They're fleecing ever-more oppressed motorists.

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