Launceston Chamber of Commerce is calling for more free parking and cheaper parking at the multi-storey to give our town centre a 'shot in the arm'.
Their calls echo much of what the Liberal Democrats were pledging at the council elections last year. Regrettably, the new Cornwall Council administration would not accept the introduction of 10p first hour car parking - the most popular single policy of the election campaign - and have asked a committee to review all car parking policies.
Whilst we wait for Cornwall Council to reach a decision, there is still much that Launceston Town Council can do to help traders. It is the Town council that owns and runs the multi-storey and they could introduce very cheap short term parking (perhaps 10p for the first half hour). I know that this is something that Town Mayor Paul O'Brien is looking into.
On another aspect, however, Cornwall Council is at last making progress. With the signs and lines in the town now legal and enforceable (a mere six months after the work was promised), enforcement officers are now patrolling our streets and car parks on a regular basis. Whilst it is annoying for all of us if we get a ticket, proper enforcement means that the traffic is kept free flowing and short term free parking spaces are not abused. I am already in touch with the Council to ensure that the town gets the enforcement that it needs.
The Chamber also suggests that the taxi rank and loading bays in the square should be moved to other locations to free up more short term parking spaces. I'm not sure that Westgate Street - a narrow street where access for lorries is regularly needed - is the best place for the taxi rank but I do support the idea of looking at how often the loading bays are properly used and perhaps moving all loading to the rear of town square businesses.
If you have any views on this interesting set of proposals from the Chamber, please get in touch.