Have parking costs led to Mold's trading slump?


Robert Doman

TRADERS have mixed views over whether increased parking charges have contributed to an ‘inordinately bad’ downturn in business.

Mold Town Council is the only one to charge for parking throughout Flintshire and town centre manager Dave Hill claims traders say parking charges are an issue.

He told councillors at a town council meeting that town trade has “suffered inordinately badly” during the past year.

However, many traders and shoppers appear to be at ease with the new charges.

But some business owners have criticised “over-zealous” parking enforcement officers for having a detrimental effect.

“There are a number of shops in the town that are not well,” said Mr Hill, who maintains shoppers have more freedom to pop into shops more easily owing to the changes.

“Trade does seem to have fallen in the last year or so.

“One issue according to traders is the change in parking prices. It is a strongly held view in certain quarters that people are not spending as much time dwelling in shops.

“We don’t know if this is reality but hopefully the survey (by Flintshire Council) can identify that.

“It appears we have suffered inordinately badly but I am hopeful this will turn around.

“We want the best approach to parking and the vitality of Mold.”

Mr Hill confirmed he has received complaints regarding over-zealous parking enforcement.

Mold Town Council raised parking charges in October when Flintshire Council took responsibility for enforcing parking restrictions.

Mold is the only town in the county to charge for parking in Flintshire Council-owned car parks.

It costs £1 to park all day and 20p to park for up to an hour.

Some bays on the high street are free for up to 30 minutes.

More than 2,000 parking tickets have been issued in Mold over the last eight months.

Flintshire Council is currently undertaking a review of car park usage, the result of Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) and the wider economic impact.

Neal Cockerton, head of assets and transportation at Flintshire Council said: “The county council is undertaking a survey of current car park use across Flintshire since the implementation of CPE so it can understand what influence the introduction of CPE has had on car park use and the wider highway network.

“In the case of Mold, the county council is also commissioning a further study which will seek peoples views on the current car parking arrangements since the introduction of the new car park charges and CPE.”

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