Could there be an end to parking woes in town?

A DOWNTURN in trade at some shops and businesses in Buckingham has lead to the revision of parking arrangements at two of the town’s car parks.

Parking charges were introduced to the town’s car parks in August which included the creation of a long stay car park at Stratford Fields and also turning the car park at Western Avenue into a long stay.

But following the introduction of charges, traders on West Street have expressed concern over the impact on trade, with shoppers not being able to use the car park as short stay, reducing the amount of footfall past the shops at that end of town.

Residents on Western Avenue have also been angry over displacement parking with parked cars lining the residential street, while the car park remains empty.

As a result, Aylesbury Vale District Council has now agreed to introduce a new short stay charge at Western Avenue and Stratford Fields, allowing people to park for up to two hours for 30p, in a bid to boost the local economy.

Parking for the first hour will be free and anyone parking for more than two hours a day will pay the long-stay rate of £2.50. The changes are due to come in tomorrow, Thursday.

Darren Kimber, chairman of the Buckingham Traders’ Association, said he was encouraged by the changes.

He said: “The Western Avenue car parking tariff changes will be eagerly welcomed by those traders who have businesses at the western end of the town and the speed it is being implemented at what is a crucial trading time of year. It is also encouraging to learn that the council will remain flexible to parking tariffs in these areas if the Buckingham Traders’ Association and the public feel further changes need to be made.”

Catherine Ince, who runs Mooch, on West Street, said: “It is great they have finally looked at it because the conversation between the traders and the council has been going for a while. It is a terrible shame for the people on West Street that it wasn’t sorted earlier because it has impacted on our Christmas trading.

“But, I don’t understand why the parking arrangements are not the same as the car park near Waitrose.”

Mayor Mike Smith welcomed the changes, saying: “This will stimulate trade at that end of town and it might discourage some of the on-street causing problems on Western Avenue.”

No changes will be made at Cornwall’s Meadow car park.