‘Canterbury in shadow of fellow cathedral city’
A former council planning boss says Canterbury is living in the shadow of fellow cathedral city Winchester.
Bob Britnell, who was at the city authority for 12 years, wants councillors to take a trip to Hampshire to gain inspiration from the way the city is run.
He says free parking on Sundays, free entry to the cathedral, and a bumper Christmas market are boosting the number of people going to Winchester.
“I think both the council and the cathedral are missing a trick,” he said.
“Winchester has two multistorey car parks, 17 surface car parks and three park and ride sites which are all free on Sundays – it’s a fantastic contrast to Canterbury.
“Councillors need to take a field trip and see for themselves how they can gain some valuable tips as free parking on Sundays would absolutely give a boost to traders in the city centre.”
Winchester councillor Stephen Godfrey says he would warmly welcome Canterbury officials to take a tour of the city.
He explained: “Everyone is always welcome to come to Winchester and I would be delighted to share our experience Former city planner Bob Britnell believes Canterbury could learn some lessons from the fellow cathedral city of Winchester
‘The Winchester Christmas market is held in the cathedral precincts and there is no admission charge’
with a fellow councillor.
“I can’t say if we have a better set-up than Canterbury as I don’t know it well but they could maybe learn from us.
“We are the only town or city in our area which has free park-
ing on Sundays and that scheme encourages people to come to Winchester instead of going elsewhere. The city has a wonderful event atmosphere on those days because of it.”
Mr Britnell also fears that Canterbury Cathedral’s admission prices – £12.50 for an adult and £33 for a family ticket – are damaging the city.
He added: “Both Canterbury and Winchester have large cathedrals and the cities are reliant on visitors coming there.
“I think those coming to Canterbury will be let down when they discover they have to pay to go in the cathedral. Those peo- ple who are let down will then not recommend the city to other potential visitors.
“The Winchester Christmas market is held in the cathedral precincts and there is no admission charge – whereas at Canterbury you have to pay all year round.
“There are about 200 stalls with no tat, mobile phone covers or lurid jumpers – it was all quality stuff.”