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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Crunch talks over Workington town centre parking

A crunch meeting to debate controversial town centre parking restrictions will be held next month following pressure from Workington traders.

Alan Moore photo
Alan Moore

Business owners on Murray Road and Finkle Street demanded talks with council bosses amid claims that “insane” half-hour parking is killing trade.

The private meeting in the Carnegie on Monday March 18 from 12.30pm has been convened by Toni Magean, Allerdale Council’s town centre area manager for Workington.

It will allow the county council to “amend” the current waiting restrictions “subject to funding being available”.

An Allerdale council spokeswoman said: “Allerdale Council is only facilitating it.

“It is between the county council and the shop traders. It is the shop traders that have raised issues with regard to the half-hour parking to him directly.

“Four or five of those that have raised issues have been invited to the meeting and they will represent other businesses and traders on Finkle Street.”

The spokeswoman added: “Part of his role is to listen to the concerns and traders and resolve them.”

News of the meeting comes after Teesside council launched free car parking to boost town centre trade in Middlesbrough.

Alan Moore, who runs Intrim Fitness off Murray Road in Workington, is leading the campaign to extend the half-hour parking. He would like to see the free parking trial adopted by Teesside council rolled out in Workington.

A county council spokeswoman confirmed the meeting will be attended by representatives from the highways department.

The 30-minute parking was introduced in 2007 to encourage more people to ‘pop and shop’ but many traders claim it is having just the opposite effect.

Shoppers caught in a queue at the bank or in the post office could easily find themselves landed with a parking ticket.

The area – just outside Workington’s £35 million Washington Square shopping centre – is also one of the few areas in the centre where independent traders outnumber national chain stores.

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