Town needs better parking
4:24pm Wednesday 2nd May 2012 in Letters
ON APRIL 1 every year I enjoy the articles in The Times on April Fool's Day, this year though Cotswold District Council beat them to the post with their press release dated 13 October 2011 stating that all pay and display machines would from April Fool's Day be solar powered, pay by phone, take debit and credit cards and cash - so where are they? What have the officers been doing? As a retired parking consultant I know it does not take six months to change machines.
The tourist season is here and the public will go elsewhere. If the officers were to go to Oakham in Rutland, they would find well laid out car parks, multiple payment systems, smart parking attendants who act as ambassadors for the town - but what does Cirencester have? And you press a green button for your ticket, not red as you do in Cirencester, excellent. CDC is, I am told, by a retired International Sales Director of a major supplier, the only council in the world where you press red not green. Presumably that is why they do nothing as they are permanently stopped.
Now if you are from mainland Europe and are visiting Cirencester; an ancient Roman town, having for example come across at Poole, guess what, you still cannot park without a lot of coins, which you do not have. So you move on and do not stop in the "Capital of the Cotswolds". Well done CDC. And there is still no signed tourist car park.
And why do council staff park free-of-charge? They do not in, for example, Rochdale, Hillingdon and others. Shop workers, who are on the minimal wage, pay to park and they are as important as council staff. Why not turn the Cirencester council office car park into shoppers and tourists long stay on weekends and bank holidays at a cheap rate? Two solar machines and one sign and an amended order - job done.
CDC also need to get the car park signs correct - you cannot tow away from an off street car park.
You could not make this saga up. Lateral thinking and realistic approach to current needs is not in existence at CDC, they need a Manager of Parking not a Parking Manager - there is a difference. The town and people of Cirencester are being treated as April Fools and they deserve a better quality, more efficient, and an ambassadorial role on parking - now.
GERALD WILKINSON Cirencester