Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Driving us mad (Part 3)

Borough resident loses the plot over car parks!

Ahmed Khan, a former election candidate, has his "head in the shed" thinking about the town centre car parks allocated for the use of Council employees. The car parks in Winchester Street and Claypath Lane, South Shields have 175 bays available for Town Hall staff and are available for the public to use after 6.00 p.m. and at weekends. Mr. Khan believes that the Council should charge it's staff up to two pounds per day to park there, thus generating 91,000 pounds per year to help offset our council tax. He also thinks the car parks are presently not being used to their full capacity (he has a small point here.)

However his analysis and conclusions are terribly flawed, one only has to take a walk down the rear of Westoe Road, South Shields, and Derby Street to see these areas choked with cars parked by our Council staff, those who have misplaced or lost their permits. If, like the Health Service employees at the General Hospital, they were made to pay a charge, they would simply park elsewhere, choking up most of the streets behind the Town Hall and causing untold distress to the residents!

The rest of us would lose the use of the only free weekend car parks in the town centre, thanks for your efforts Mr. Khan, but the status quo is the best option.

Link

Shields Gazette

Comments:
Curly, you didn't mention that the car park is adjacent to a favoured watering hole.

It's obvious that Mr Khan is lining himself up for next year's elections. His 'newspaper' is little more than an election pamphlet, and I'm sure we'll see much more of him in the Gazette.

However, the status quo is not the best option. The main concern for me is that this free staff parking means that the council is encouraging staff to drive to work. This means that the council is not only condoning a choice to add to our increasing greenhouse emissions, but subsidising it with our council tax. This reveals the real 'green culture' in our '1 percent' council: it doesn't take climate change seriously (I know, no surprise there!). As the council is the biggest employer in the borough, it needs to challenge and change staff's attitudes to travelling to work instead of throwing tarmac space at it - at our cost.

Many of those who use the car parks live in the borough and are within public transport access. For those who 'need' to travel during the day on council business, lower emissions alternatives could be found.

It's time for the council to come up with some alternatives to driving if it wants to be a leader in reducing emissions, instead of just talking about it.
 
I can accept your points Rossinisbird and would love to hear from the Council about what other plans it has to reduce carbon emmissions produced by it's employees. I'm sure in a previous post about redevelopment at the riverside, I intimated that they should be including comprehensive workplace travel plans, and would hope that the same would apply to themselves!
 
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