Free parking case

SIR – There appears to be considerable concern about the health of local shopping in Harpenden. One solution, much touted by local politicians and, apparently, the local shopkeepers is for two-hour free parking, instead of the current one-hour free parkin

SIR - There appears to be considerable concern about the health of local shopping in Harpenden. One solution, much touted by local politicians and, apparently, the local shopkeepers is for two-hour free parking, instead of the current one-hour free parking regime. At first glance this may appear a sensible solution but further study reveals that it is almost entirely counter-productive.

The one-hour free parking is very popular and gives quite sufficient time for the great majority of shopping transactions in Harpenden.

Two hours free parking will simply encourage shoppers to linger longer over their shopping and so, crucially, occupy the parking bays for longer. Other shoppers who simply want a quick "in and out" shop will then be frustrated.

Two-hour free parking will encourage Harpendonians to spend even longer over their coffee drinking and chatting with no additional shopping expenditure.


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Furthermore a two-hour free parking slot will attract a large number of people who want the parking but have no intention of spending any money at all such as those who work in our shops and sixth formers from the local schools

The key to a more prosperous shopping experience in Harpenden must be to maximise the turnover of the one-hour free parking bays.

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This will provide the greatest opportunity for those wishing to spend their money in Harpenden and have the greatest benefit for Harpenden.

Two-hour free parking will in effect halve the number of available parking spaces for shoppers and will be a disaster for shoppers in Harpenden.

MIKE WADDILOVE

Crabtree Lane, Harpenden

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