OBSERVER: Free parking is a great idea...let’s have more of it

Opinion
Opinion

The news that the council-run car parks will be ‘free for Christmas’ should be welcomed. But – and there’s always a but – why restrict it to just a few days and weekends? Parking will be free after 4pm on Thursdays, on one Saturday, and every Sunday until Christmas.

To back up their ‘generosity’ the council leader tells us the aim ‘is to welcome as many people as possible into the town to help Boston businesses…’ and goes on that ‘local people will use this to do their Christmas shopping locally and support their local shops… who are there for them, all year round’. Coun ‘Knocker’ Richmond also makes comments, ending: ‘With free parking located conveniently close there should be no reason to want to go anywhere else’. At last, he’s got the message.

So we can have free parking for all the above reasons...for Christmas only! What about the other days and weeks of the year? Does the council not realise that it is the rest of the year that most people are bothered about? The fact people can park free for just about a month doesn’t mean that they will come back in their droves after Christmas. Apparently the fact they will then have to pay again doesn’t seem to register with our ‘leaders’.

Time and time again there have been letters about the parking and the charges driving shoppers away to towns which either don’t charge or are reasonable in the amount they do charge. Although welcome, I can’t see this ‘concession’ having a lot of effect for our struggling shops and businesses: I hope I’m wrong.

Of course the cynics among us will be aware its council election time again next May – I can already see the claims that the present incumbents voted for us to have free parking over Christmas.

l The council is considering joining the Hanseatic League, an organisation which the town was very much involved in centuries ago. I have no problem with this but wonder if we would really get any direct benefits from it?

Observer