Councillor Scott Benton needs to spend only a few hours in my office overlooking Mill Lane car park from 7 .30 am Monday to Saturday to get his facts straight.
The only culprits stopping out- of-town visitors enjoying shopping in Brighouse are the local business owners themselves.
From 7. 30 in a morning, it is comical to watch them one by one arrive like clockwork to fill every one of the 20 spaces in the car park.
You feel sorry for the ones who arrive too near to 7.50 who sigh and bang on their steering wheels, knowing they now have to do what my customers do all day long ….. that is to try and find a space where they can stay for longer than an hour a reasonable distance from their intended location without the risk of the ‘jobsworth’ parking attendant brigade fulfilling their Brighouse daily quota.
An odd one may return if only working a part-time day, but the majority don’t return until their seven or eight hours are done. Twenty parking spaces are wasted and only to ensure our business owners and their workers park for free!
I refer you to Skipton, a well- used market town, supporting its local traders with hundreds of visitors daily….all happy to PAY AND DISPLAY ( at an acceptable rate of 60 p an hour) to experience their local sights and delights.
As a business, we spend thousands of pounds on advertising which successfully brings people to us, only to be offended by the congestion caused and the lack of available parking space.
As strangers they are not aware that there is a pay and display car park at the other end of town which is always half-empty - and that one is only 60 pence too!
Why is it so wrong, Mr Benton, to generate revenue to maintain the car parks to a higher standard? Do you not realise that too would make things more attractive and encourage even more visitors willing to spend a few pence to more comfortably spend their pounds in Brighouse.
Illegal,you bleat. Sensible, the majority of people would say.
I invite you to come and witness THE MORNING MASS to appreciate the true facts. Be early or you wont get a space !
By Gary Heginbottom