'Trade is suffering due to town centre parking offer' says business owner
A business owner has said that the parking situation in Bolton town centre is having a negative impact on trade.
Julian Holt, owner of Premier Bed Stores on Central Street – the same street which had a car park until January last year - says that town centre parking is a 'huge issue'for his and other businesses.
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“For my business, they’re not repeat customers, so they drive into town and they’ll come to Central Street, where there’s no parking at all.
“They’ll either stop their car outside and nip in but then they’re on tenterhooks and we watch their car while they’re in the loading bay in case traffic wardens come – which they do instantly. There are packs of them going round.”
Julian says that they have even paid for customers to park in some circumstances.
“We do direct them to Queen’s Street, and we even offer to pay because the trouble with those car parks is you’ve got to use the RingGo app.
READ MORE: Bolton business owner of Premier Bed Stores blames poor parking for lack of business
“For a person who has never used it, they’ve got to download the app, then they’ve got to put their bank details in, and it’s not easy.
“We also direct them the Le Mans Crescent but that’s closed for filming an awful lot.
“It’s not easy.
"The council’s reaction to when we complained about closing Central Street was that they’ve built the multi-storeys but shoppers are reluctant to go in them because they find them dark, and not very welcoming and they are a bit of a walk out of the town centre.”
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He says that since the car park on Central Street closed, he’s seen a 'huge decline' in business.
“When they closed it on the January 10 last year, I would say it’s slashed out business massively.
“And what is ridiculous is that they closed it on January 10, and they’ve still not started work. It’s just been stood empty.”
Julian refers to places like Middlebrook and the Trafford Centre where, although the parking spaces are not completely free – they are paid for through tenant’s business rates – they are free to the customer.
READ MORE: On-street parking causes nuisance for Farnworth residents
This, unfortunately, is difficult to replicate in a large town centre like Bolton because it is not easy to distinguish who is parking there to shop and add value to the town’s economy, or who is there for other reasons.
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