Car park charges will ruin us, say traders

Fears – business owners and councillors Sandra White, Dave Blackwell, Jan Payne, David and Sam Rowe, Barry Campagna and David Rayne

Fears – business owners and councillors Sandra White, Dave Blackwell, Jan Payne, David and Sam Rowe, Barry Campagna and David Rayne

First published in News by

NEW car parking charges on Canvey are putting companies at risk of going out of business, say traders.

Fees were introduced at Oak Road car park, near the Furtherwick Road shopping centre, in February.

But traders say takings are falling and they have noticed a “significant” drop in the number of customers coming to Furtherwick Road since the charges were brought in.

Card shop Happy Days has traded in Furtherwick Road for 20 years. Owners say takings have fallen by 30 per cent since the charges were introduced.

Sandra White, partner of Happy Days, said: “People are not coming down to our end of the town because they don’t want to pay for the parking.

“We’ve noticed a significant drop in customer numbers and takings have gone down as well.

“It is a ghost car park. Before, it was packed – not so packed that you couldn’t park, but there were always cars in it and you could always get a space.

“If I was to close, the council is going to lose more money by not getting my business rates than it is from the money it’s making from the car park.”

Jeannette Harding, owner of Marks Carpet Shop, said: “Business has slowed down. 40p is too much to ask people to pay when they’ve had it free all this time.

“The council could do more to support local businesses. People don’t like walking nowadays and they don’t like paying for parking either.”

Discount Pet Superstore, in Oak Road, has been in business for ten years.

Owner Darren Brown added: “There used to be 50 to 100 cars in the mornings and people would park and pop into the shop, but we don’t get that any more.

“It’s like a ghost town and we’re losing about 25 per cent of our footflow from that car park a week now.”

 

CHARGES were introduced on February 1 at Oak Road, Canvey, Richmond Hall in Benfleet and Lubbins car park on Canvey seafront.

The car park at Oak Road makes around £300 a week with motorists charged 40p for one hour, 80p for two and £1.50 for up to three hours during the week.

 

COUNCILLORS will discuss the car parking charges at a meeting on Wednesday.

Canvey Island Independent councillors are calling for the fees to be scrapped.

Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party, said: “I’ve had long conversations with traders telling me turnover is down and people are not walking past.

“They are all struggling. It’s sad. The council needs to realise what it has done to these businesses.”

Staff now park at the Paddocks car park to avoid charges in the short-stay car park. A report to the council’s cabinet says if charges were scrapped at Oak Road, they would also need to be suspended in Rectory Road and Richmond Hall car parks.

Abolishing the charges could result in the council losing £100,000 a year.

Mr Blackwell added: “Here we are, meant to be trying to help small businesses, but what the council hasn’t looked at is the effect of these charges.

“Businesses are struggling to keep roofs over their heads.”

 

TOM Skipp, the councillor responsible for environment and street scene, defended the charges.

He said: “One of the reasons we brought the charges in was the car park was full every day. But it was people who worked there, leaving no spaces for shoppers.

“The car park at Knightswick is privately owned and charges, and it’s always full.

“The complaint before was the shoppers could not park at Oak Road.

“Now they can park there any time of the day, because the people who were using it and worked at the shops are no longer parking there.

“The income from this and all the car parks throughout the borough are funding this council’s car park improvement programme and if charges were removed from this and the other similar car parks, the funding would be at risk.

“Complaints were constantly received from members of the public and local councillors on Canvey about the lack of parking spaces available throughout the day and the continuous flooding experienced at this car park.

“The improvements carried out and funded by car parking charges have solved both of these problems.”

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:42am Wed 20 Aug 14

Career Criminal says...

I don't pay car parking, because you don't have too and its only a civil matter. Nothing happens whatsoever.

But the people that do won't even spend 40p?! Talk about being tight.
I don't pay car parking, because you don't have too and its only a civil matter. Nothing happens whatsoever. But the people that do won't even spend 40p?! Talk about being tight. Career Criminal
  • Score: -7

7:55am Wed 20 Aug 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

sorry to say its not the parking, its other things, internet shopping is ruining lots of buisnesses and people now shop in the £1 shops. I know that it is difficult to compete for small shops but it is health competition and I am sorry but it is thw way of the world now
sorry to say its not the parking, its other things, internet shopping is ruining lots of buisnesses and people now shop in the £1 shops. I know that it is difficult to compete for small shops but it is health competition and I am sorry but it is thw way of the world now CHRISTMAS CAROL
  • Score: 2

7:59am Wed 20 Aug 14

pembury53 says...

Career Criminal wrote:
I don't pay car parking, because you don't have too and its only a civil matter. Nothing happens whatsoever.

But the people that do won't even spend 40p?! Talk about being tight.
too right, and how big is canvey ? lazy s0ds could walk
[quote][p][bold]Career Criminal[/bold] wrote: I don't pay car parking, because you don't have too and its only a civil matter. Nothing happens whatsoever. But the people that do won't even spend 40p?! Talk about being tight.[/p][/quote]too right, and how big is canvey ? lazy s0ds could walk pembury53
  • Score: 14

9:40am Wed 20 Aug 14

johanuk says...

I have to say that i live 20 minutes walk from the town centre, and used to use oak road car park often........but not now! It's not the 40p, or 80p, it's the fact that motorists are seen as a big source of revenue. The huge tax on every litre of fuel, the required road tax disc, the thousands of cameras watching your speed! It is just too much to expect to pay to shop in Canvey!.......i now always go to Hadleigh Lidl, where i know i can park free for 90 minutes! If you compare Lakeside, the car parks are free AND you don't get wet!........and there are no boarded-up shops like there is at Canvey centre. So now they lose rates from the empty shops and revenue from shoppers who go elsewhere!
I have to say that i live 20 minutes walk from the town centre, and used to use oak road car park often........but not now! It's not the 40p, or 80p, it's the fact that motorists are seen as a big source of revenue. The huge tax on every litre of fuel, the required road tax disc, the thousands of cameras watching your speed! It is just too much to expect to pay to shop in Canvey!.......i now always go to Hadleigh Lidl, where i know i can park free for 90 minutes! If you compare Lakeside, the car parks are free AND you don't get wet!........and there are no boarded-up shops like there is at Canvey centre. So now they lose rates from the empty shops and revenue from shoppers who go elsewhere! johanuk
  • Score: 10

9:47am Wed 20 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Its 30p for an hour 200 metres away in the Knightswick centre, this is a non story, if the local shops were any good this measly parking charge would be irrelevent
Its 30p for an hour 200 metres away in the Knightswick centre, this is a non story, if the local shops were any good this measly parking charge would be irrelevent sesibollox
  • Score: 18

10:27am Wed 20 Aug 14

Howard Cháse says...

'people don't like walking'


How do they get to their car then?
'people don't like walking' How do they get to their car then? Howard Cháse
  • Score: -1

12:19pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Ian P says...

“The improvements carried out and funded by car parking charges have solved both of these problems.” Yes but it appears it is creating potentially an even bigger issue. If the shops shut there will be no one paying to park, so the Council will be left with posh car parks and no income. Unfortunately, this is typical of many Councils. They only look at the immediate issues without looking at the holistic picture.
“The improvements carried out and funded by car parking charges have solved both of these problems.” Yes but it appears it is creating potentially an even bigger issue. If the shops shut there will be no one paying to park, so the Council will be left with posh car parks and no income. Unfortunately, this is typical of many Councils. They only look at the immediate issues without looking at the holistic picture. Ian P
  • Score: 6

2:18pm Wed 20 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

50p for Half an Hour in Rayleigh, but then we do tend to offer a somewhat richer fare of shopping experiences.
50p for Half an Hour in Rayleigh, but then we do tend to offer a somewhat richer fare of shopping experiences. sesibollox
  • Score: 10

2:44pm Wed 20 Aug 14

ChampKind says...

If they intend to use this money to pay for the "council's car park improvement programme", I would say don't bother, as people are obviously not prepared to pay, so it won't be long before the won't need any car parks.Perhaps the council wants to turn the car parks into houses.
If they intend to use this money to pay for the "council's car park improvement programme", I would say don't bother, as people are obviously not prepared to pay, so it won't be long before the won't need any car parks.Perhaps the council wants to turn the car parks into houses. ChampKind
  • Score: 5

2:45pm Wed 20 Aug 14

ChampKind says...

Since they started charging for Richmond Hall, I've not been near any of those shops. I'm sure I'm not alone either.
Since they started charging for Richmond Hall, I've not been near any of those shops. I'm sure I'm not alone either. ChampKind
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree