Let’s not put people off our town

I AM no doubt not the first to comment on the new Market Place, nor will I be the last.

I have to say that it looks very clean and airy. A much larger space than I thought.

I’m sure when it’s finished, the Five Lamps feature will look lovely, too.

I do think, however, that in a small town not swamped with shoppers or tourists, we should avoid putting people off.

I needed to pop into the bank the other day. Just a quick visit. Ten minutes tops. I found a convenient spot near Holland & Barrett and fed the machine with 60p for 30 minutes’ parking.

As I put it on my dashboard top, a Pcso leapt across the pavement and told me I could not park there as it was not a designated parking spot.

Why is a prime position outside a shop not a designated parking spot?

Frustrated I looked at the alternatives. I could park elsewhere and walk up, but I only had 10 minutes so that was out.

I could go home and catch a bus, but taking half a day off for a 10-minute errand seemed a bit excessive.

Finally, I could join the game of slowly cruising round seeking a soon-to-be-vacated slot while eye-balling other motorists engaged in the same gladiatorial circulation before making a dash for a slot.

I clearly did not have time for that, nor the inevitable heated debate regarding the primacy of finders keepers over first come first served.

Given my already frustrated state, I felt it wise to avoid any possibility of fisticuffs, so I put my unused parking ticket in my pocket and with a complaint about killing the town stone dead departed.

The Market Place, I’m sure, is lovely. The bus service, too, is no doubt very efficient for those who get days off other than Sunday.

If you only have 10 minutes and there are only a couple of dozen spaces to park, I might join all the other people who I’ve spoken too and not bother even trying to do business in Boston.

On the charging the disabled for parking issue, I’m all for putting disabled parking nearer to services for obvious mobility reasons but surely disabled is not destitute?

A little extra grace for being late back, as long as no one takes advantage, but not free.