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Parking charges 'pricing out' town centre staff, says Cllr
STAFF working in Marlow are being ‘priced out’ of the town according to a town councillor who is campaigning for cheaper car parking rates for workers.
Cllr Kathy Thomson voiced her concern to a meeting of business leaders last week as she vowed to look out for staff who are forced to pay-and-display for the entire work day.
Along with town council colleagues, Cllr Thomson is pressing for a deal so workers at Marlow businesses can get a discounted from Monday to Friday.
And she said the small car park adjacent to Marlow Town Council’s building off Pound Land would be an ideal location to test the scheme.
She said: "We are trying to get a deal on the red brick car park from Monday to Friday. It is usually quiet there during the week.
"It is pretty important to for the staff who are having to pay a lot of money per day to park. It is not fair, they are being priced out."
Currently, it costs £5.50 to park in a Wycombe District Council-controlled town centre car park for a nine to five working day.
Speaking at last week’s Chamber of Commerce meeting, district councillor and former WDC leader Alex Collingwood said it is an option the council are keen to explore.
He said the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system, which is due to be rolled out in WDC’s Marlow car parks from next month, will make it easier to study the feasibility of the idea.
He added: "I will sit down with the chairman (of the Chamber) and we think there is a way that we can find a way for the staff to park.
"But we will have to work out the mechanics of how it will work. For instance we will need to work out if we need to organise specific permits."
With a long-awaited town-wide parking review hinging on data crunched from the ANPR system, Cllr Thomson also voiced fears that any decision to introduce parking meters on Marlow High Street would be disastrous for the town.
She said: "If the council installed parking meters on the High street then that would be the death of Marlow.
"We can park and move easily and it is free, unlike Henley. That is why people come here. We have a really great High Street here, it is unique."
But Cllr Collingwood dismissed this, reassuring her that anyone who came to the WDC cabinet with that idea would leave "with a flea in their ear".
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