I represent a collection of small shop and business owners in Oldham, Lancashire who object strongly to the disintegration of a once thriving retail area of the town.
Although under a regeneration plan which will take several years to complete, there seems to be no sympathy for the small businesses and retailers in this area - many who have traded for decades - who provide vital services and a community feel to the area.
While we agree that out of town shopping areas have their place, the small specialist shop such as our walking and climbing shop are still successful but footfall is dropping substantially because of the restrictive parking policies put in place by short sighted local authorities such as Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council.
We at Mountainfeet have received many complaints about the situation from customers - sadly, several of these have categorically stated that despite liking our shop and service, they would not return because of the likelihood of receiving a £30 fine if they outstayed their ticket by even a couple of minutes.
The solution would be a fair solution where say after 10am, short term parking was free, or if a charge has to be levied, a fair system where law abiding shoppers weren't penalised the minute they go over the time limit on their ticket.
Visiting our website as detailed will provide more details and a copy of a typical disgruntled customers letter.
We, the undersigned, wish to strongly appeal to Oldham Metropolitan Council for the reintroduction of FREE short term parking for local shoppers at the Mumps end of Union Street, Oldham, Lancashire. Alternatively, if a charge must be levied, then a common sense system to cope with people accidently over running their tickets when delayed should be implemented.
We believe that the excessive cost of parking together with the aggressive way that accidental overstays are prosecuted with no discretion shown is driving many small retailers to the brink of bankruptcy as more and more shoppers stay away from the Mumps/Union Street area of town.
There should still be a place for small businesses and specialist retailers in town centres such as Oldham. They provide a community service but councils seem set against them in favour of supermarket type operations and out of town business parks.
On behalf of the small businesses and retailers of Oldham, we simply ask for a fighting chance for them to carry on their trade and contribute to the vibrancy of the town which will be all the poorer for their loss. There are already serious problems resulting from antisocial behaviour which the retailers away from the Town Square Shopping Precinct have to deal with on a daily basis. How about a little assistance with one of the issues that could help revitalise Oldham and support the hardworking businesses that make it tick?
Thank you for your kind attention.
The Fair car parking scheme for Oldham shoppers petition to Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council was written by Simon Taylor and is in the category Business at GoPetition.