Ormskirk Advertiser

Car park­ing fees a risk to Orm­skirk trade say OWL mem­bers

- Owls · Animals · Wildlife

VIS­I­TOR num­bers in Orm­skirk town cen­tre re­main well down on preCovid lev­els and to re-in­tro­duce the full pre-Covid car park­ing charges next month risks suf­fo­cat­ing the re­cent re­vival in trade and threat­ens town cen­tre busi­nesses say coun­cil In­de­pen­dents, Our West Lan­cashire.

They are now call­ing on the coun­cil to amend their plans.

The six-strong group of coun­cil­lors, five of whom rep­re­sent Orm­skirk, wrote to the bor­ough coun­cil leader and chief of­fi­cer in July ask­ing that short stay park­ing for shop­pers and vis­i­tors to the town re­main free un­til the end of the year.

OWL chair­man Cllr Adrian Owens said: “Park­ing charges are now re­quired for all-day and long-stay park­ing for the rea­sons the coun­cil de­scribe; namely to en­sure there are enough park­ing spa­ces for shop­pers and vis­i­tors.

“How­ever, the town’s re­tail­ers are only just get­ting back on their feet. Free car park­ing has helped to achieve that blos­som­ing re­cov­ery. In­deed, sev­eral town traders have told us how their cus­tomers have been de­lighted with the free park­ing.

“The coun­cil’s own fig­ures show that vis­i­tor num­bers in Orm­skirk are re­cov­er­ing faster than other towns that charge for car park­ing but they are still down more than 8% on the same month last year.

“To sti­fle that lo­cal re­cov­ery be­fore it re­ally gets go­ing makes no sense and we are call­ing on the coun­cil for a par­tial re­think.

“Peo­ple shop­ping for two hours in the other towns in the bor­ough can do so for free. Orm­skirk should not be treated dif­fer­ently.

“Go ahead with park­ing charges for all-day and long-stay park­ing - for one or two-hour stays keep park­ing free of charge un­til at least the end of this year.”

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