Published: October 3, 2012
'Make parking charges in Burnham more shopper-friendly' - councillors

Town councillors have this week called for a review of car parking charges in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge in a bid to make the towns more shopper-friendly.

The introduction of a new 30-minute charge in council-run car parks, plus the introduction of longer parking times along the seafront for tourists, and free parking across the town during the run-up to Christmas have been proposed.

At a meeting of the Town Council on Monday, Cllr Phil Harvey, pictured, said: "The current minimum car parking charge for shoppers here in Burnham is one hour, yet a large number of shoppers just want to visit the town centre quickly to buy one or two items and they only need half an hour."

"The current inflexible charges commit them to buying a whole 60 minutes, putting them off from coming into the town at all. It's not good for the viability of the town centre and I hope Sedgemoor will consider a new cheap rate at, say, 30p for 30 minutes. A half hour charge is in place in Axbridge and other towns."

During the debate, Cllr Chris Williams, right, also urged Sedgemoor District Council to scrap parking charges across Burnham and Highbridge during the pre-Christmas period.

"Traders need as much help as they can get and to waive the parking fees for a whole two weeks before Christmas - just as Sedgemoor used to do - would help out businesses and shoppers."

Sedgemoor District Council's free parking in the run-up to Christmas stopped after the 2007 parking offer.

Cllr Louise Parkin also said that the current maximum parking time of four hours along The Esplanade is not long enough for families wanting to enjoy the beach and town. "A four hour period is fine in Bridgwater, but not in a seaside town like Burnham where families want to spend a whole day here in the summer months - it should be a maximum of six hours," she said.

Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade this week said it supports the proposals. A spokesman told "Any initiatives like this that help our town businesses and encourage people to do their shopping locally are welcome."


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