Locals say 'what's the problem?' at backlash against short-stay Truro car park charge

Old Bridge Street car park in Truro where charging went wrong on the first night of tariffs
Old Bridge Street car park in Truro -Credit:Lee Trewhela

Readers have leapt to the defence of a higher charge imposed in a Cornwall car park in an effort to discourage a "significant number" of drivers from "clogging up" the facility. Cornwall Council has come under fire over the £31.50 fee for anyone staying over three hours but it has been keen to stress that Old Bridge Street is meant for shoppers to drop into town, not for local workers to park all day. Local residents and businesspeople have been having their say in our comments section on a previous article.

Some local businesses and motorists are unhappy with the change, and some have accused Cornwall Council of "trying to bankrupt" the city due the new charges. Some local traders have apparently asked the council for parking permits in order that they can unload stock and park close to their businesses, but say these requests have been denied. Local businessman Paul Gilbert says that customers are "being scared away" by the cost of parking and that he believes the new policy "goes against helping local businesses".

A spokesperson for the council said: "The city centre car park at Old Bridge Street in Truro remains as a short stay car park and its three-hour parking limit has not changed. We were finding that a significant number of motorists were parking here all day and essentially clogging up the car park when its purpose is to encourage a turnover of spaces and in turn increase footfall to the city centre. To address this and dissuade motorists from overstaying the three-hour limit, an ‘up to 24hr’ tariff has been introduced.

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"The new charge will only apply to motorists who stay in the car park longer than three hours between 9am and 6pm. From 6pm to midnight motorists can stay for an unlimited time and only be charged the evening tariff of £2.10. Motorist can park in the car park from midnight to 9am for free. We have placed extra signs in the car park to remind motorists of the three-hour limit and the new charge for parking for longer than three hours between 9am and 6pm."

Commenter Olliewilks sides with the Council: “It's exactly what it says on the tin - a Short Stay Car Park. The whole point is not to clog up the spaces with vehicles parking there all day, which should in turn mean more people using the car park thus increasing turnover and footfall in shops in the immediate vicinity. There was already a £25 fine for exceeding the permitted 3 hours, it's simply gone up to £31.50. What's the problem?”

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User Ballboy13 agrees: “What a lot of hot air from these traders - it's a small short-stay car park and all the council is doing is trying to ensure it is used as such. There are plenty of other car parks in the city for longer stays or, as others have pointed out, the park and ride (which is a great service).

"If there weren't any short stay car parks they would be moaning that there is nowhere for people to park who are doing a swift visit to one or two shops. That's what this car park is for and certainly not for traders to park up all day! They can't accuse the council of trying to harm the city when they themselves were blocking spaces for use by shoppers.

"I don't think there are any other short stay car parks in Truro - it's a good move to ensure that this one can be used like that.”

Bluemagpie offers an alternative for drivers: “This car park is like many others in major cities. It is there for people to pop in and get items quickly. I agree with others if you wish to stay longer use the park and ride. That is what it is there for!” Awpeth counters: “Awkward to load furniture on park and ride!”

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Reader MikeHart is unhappy: “Ask any retailer, and he will tell you that one of the secrets of selling is to create a welcoming 'vibe'. Ask yourself... is this a welcoming vibe?” Interested1 is also concerned: “County Hall are encouraging people & tourists in, only to dash them upon the overcharging rocks of fees. Other areas of the country have car parking charges but also periods that allow for free parking, that in turn allow for a thriving local economy.”

Long stay car parks are also available in Truro including Garras Wharf, Moorfield, Edward Street and Moresk where Cornwall residents can park for less in a specified car park by purchasing a Resident Season Ticket.

How do you feel about the increased charges? Will they benefit Truro? Have your say in our comments section.