3 Thousand Sign Parking Petition in Bridport
1:17pm 5th September 2013
An army of local residents, including town councillors, are fighting against plans to charge for on street car parking in Bridport.
Dorset County Council want to put an end to 1 hour free parking bays along the high-street and introduce ticket machines instead.
They say it will promote economic growth and make the town nicer for people to visit with less cars clogging the roadside. Plus the current system means wardens have to check parked cars too often to see if they've overstayed.
But local business owners and shoppers alike are angry and say introducing charges will have a negative effect on trade and could turn visitors away.
A petition has been drawn up against the plans and its gained 3,000 signatures and boasts support from town councillors.
Bridport Town Councillors are calling for a survey to measure how changes would affect the high-street before any decision is made.
Chair of the Bridport Market Traders Forum Roy Gregory says the County Council have got it all wrong;
"How will it make the town safer? It works successfully already. Bridport is a popular and safe place for tourists, with our street markets and independent shops. I don't understand how scrapping 1 hour parking bays will make it nicer".
Roy is worried shoppers will be put off coming to town;
"To my mind anything that damages the potential of tourists coming to Bridport because they think, I don't wanna go there because I have to pay for parking, is going to be to the detriment of the town and the local economy."
Campaigners will meet County Councillors and MP Oliver Letwin next Friday to discuss plans and their concerns (13th September).