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Letters: Parking charges will kill Lymington High Street

SIR - Hampshire County Council’s plan to charge shoppers to park their cars if they wish to shop for longer than half an hour will kill Lymington High Street.

The plan is incredibly old-fashioned. We all know market towns across the country where the high street has died because car-driving shoppers have been banished from the town centre.

The free 20 minutes is simply not long enough to do your shopping in confidence, meaning you will be well into the grace period of 10 minutes before you have to rush back to your car.

Many elderly people cannot rush and they will be effectively barred from the High Street. Far safer to park in Waitrose or drive somewhere else.

Another effect will be to shift traffic away from the High Street to neighbouring streets. HCC will then feel obliged to penalise those streets too.

HCC claim that some people park on the high street all day. I do not believe this to be true for one minute, but if it is, then HCC should be making a tidy profit out of parking tickets, in which case we do not need the meters anyway.

I understand that it is illegal for councils to use money generated by car-parking for any other purpose than for transport-related issues. So HCC must not imagine that they can use it to pay for social services, for example.

The news has come out just before Christmas when people who would otherwise complain are busy with other things.

People must make their voices heard. This is due to come in with very little notice at the beginning of April. Write to your MP. Write to HCC. Let’s stop this proposal now.

Ruth Hughes, Lymington

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