11th October 2013
Business alarm at proposed parking scheme for Clifton
Grant Watson, chairman of Alder King and one of Bristol’s most respected business leaders, has expressed his concern for the future of businesses in Clifton after attending the Business Consultation drop-in session regarding the proposed parking restrictions for Clifton.
He said: “Having looked at these proposals in more detail, I am horrified to find that they are in some ways illogical and seem to be predominantly a method of raising additional Council revenue. Clearly the proposals do not represent a realistic strategy for improving the circumstances of either business people or residents. In fact both will suffer from heavy parking charges for parking space which is currently free.”
Mr Watson pointed out that aspects of the proposal are quite absurd. “Businesses in the Clifton area are allowed up to seven permits, irrespective of their size. Therefore a business with 100 employees will be allocated seven permits, exactly the same as a company employing 10 people.”
He continued: “I am fearful for the future of our business which involves staff who need to use their cars throughout the day to service our clients, and we also have many business visitors who seek to park not too far from our offices. Our limited on-site staff/client parking could mean us having to leave central Bristol for an out of town location.
“We currently employ around 100 personnel from all over Bristol and clearly if we had to move to the outskirts of the city, it would be harmful to the economics of the Clifton area. If you add many other businesses that may be forced to leave, the overall effect could be very serious for the area. There are many smaller businesses who will suffer and the imposition of additional taxes could have a considerable impact on property values. In addition, the cost to both residents and businesses of employing contractors for maintenance and services will have to increase to cover additional parking costs. Clifton is currently a vibrant community with an effective mix of uses which this fund raising exercise threatens to destroy.”
Mr Watson appealed to the City Council to re-think the proposals in a way which would enable businesses to continue to operate and relieve the residents of what seem to be excessive permit costs. “Clifton is a very important part of one of the most prosperous cities in the UK and our civic leaders must find a way of protecting that prosperity and safeguard the interests of residents, workers, employers and their businesses.”
He pointed out that whilst there are bus services which would get most of Alder King’s office based staff from home to work, many do come by bicycle but equally many need their cars for business use throughout the day. He said: “A radical re-think of the proposals is essential if we are to protect jobs and the interests of Clifton’s businesses and residents.”