Time to help our businesses
REGARDING the Neath Port Talbot Council decision to impose parking fees in Pontardawe (Post< Nov 24) to "unify the parking charges policy and bring fairness and consistency to the main town centres", if they want to unify the parking charges I suggest they stop charging all together in town centres. That would help bring the people in!
As it is they are forcing taxpayers into shelling out even more money when many are losing their jobs and NPT has threatened cuts to frontline services.
Town centres have been made one-way pedestrian zones. In Neath any free parking areas are for one hour or aren't anywhere near the shops. I can't afford to pay to park, then walk to a shop, in the pouring rain and gale force winds, only to find out they are going to charge me more, in their effort to survive the rise in rates the council has imposed on them.
It's time the council sat down with the business owners and come up with a plan that will make things better — not worse. For starters, reducing the cost of shop properties would bring in more shops — not phone shops or charity shops or take-aways.
Allowing a 'one-month wonder' to come in and take away custom from shops that pay every month every year is cutting the throat of the town business. A couple of good restaurants would be nice. A cookery shop and better quality clothes shops.
Regarding Aberavon, the council is already making thousands of pounds collected from the tickets issued by wardens to those who illegally park on the part of the walkway that simply sticks out — nobody walks on it and the bikers use their lanes, sometimes. To begin imposing charges along the promenade lay-bys will only mean those on limited funds won't go there. I don't believe the small number of lay-bys along the walk will generate anywhere near the £59,000 quoted.
The lay-bys are very small and only on one side of the promenade, and on the land side of the drive, in the area of the cinema, there is a large area set aside for taxis where I've never seen a taxi parked and there are already several pay and display areas there that are used mostly during the summer.
If the council want to generate money stop pouring money down the drain by wasting our tax pounds on bad roads and fancy parks areas that don't generate money. Sell off the land along Aberavon where the dump site is, and the derelict restaurant and drive through are, along with all that land that isn't being used at all. Build that new Lido the way the people want and that will also bring in revenue. Thinking 'small' won't help.
John Street, Resolven, Neath