Since Waitrose commenced parking warnings earlier this year the Town Council has been contacted by both residents and businesses concerned about the impact the warnings are having. The Town Council undertook two separate surveys in June (one for businesses and one for residents). We received 589 responses from the residents survey and 57 businesses responded.
Just under half of all residents (288) reported that they visited the Town Centre between 2-4 times a week. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday were the most popular days to visit and most people stayed between 1-2 hours. 37% of people stayed longer than 2 hours. 63% of respondents stated that they had abandoned a trip because they were unable to park and 47% of people stated that they had altered the number of times of the duration of the visit because they were concerned about receiving a fine. 56% of people stated that they did not support Waitrose enforcing the short stay area of the car park and just over 20% were undecided if they supported the measure.
The business survey identified that some businesses had their own limited parking for staff and also some parking for customers. 59% of businesses reported that their staff had difficulty parking and 63% said that customers had reported difficulties parking. 40% of the businesses believed that the parking warnings had impacted their businesses and a further 15% were unsure at present whether the warnings had impacted their businesses.
The Town Council has written to Waitrose with the results of the survey and have requested a meeting to discuss the parking situation. We have a number of ideas that we would like to explore with Waitrose to try to minimise the impact on residents and businesses. In addition, an invitation will be sent to all business over the coming weeks to attend a meeting with the Town Council at the Civic Hall to see what other actions can be taken.