Free parkingAnd yes, we agree with this, it must be put on any sensible planning horizon. The common sense policy of free parking in city centres is long overdue and much needed and would definitely go a long way to easing traffic woes. We already pay enough for the privilege of driving our nice cars into town. We are already taxed to the eyeballs with road taxes and council parking charges are just another tax on motoring from our anti-car, anti-business, anti-growth council. That Mary Portas off the telly is right to announce that parking should be free for important wealth creators like us, bringing in our extensive buying power at high speed from our hinterland dormitories to the US-style covered-mall shopping pleasuredomes of Aberdeen. Being off the telly, she is sure to be perfectly correct in all her opinions and recommendations. We should take note.
Having affordable town centre parking is another key recommendation.
In a recent survey, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that 50% of their members said the lack of affordable town centre parking had a detrimental effect on their business.
John Walker, chairman of the FSB, said: "Putting in place free controlled parking schemes and introducing a parking league table could go some way in [addressing] this."
But did our council listen to this important and correct TV personality in her call for free parking for the important wealth creating drivers of Aberdeen Cars? Did they listen? Oh no, they think they know better... As everyone knows, in recent years our council has done everything they can to discourage people coming into the city by car, cloaking their anti-car, anti-growth, anti-Aberdeen measures in a green mantle of environmentalism.
And so it continues... we noticed this in council-subsidised local freesheet: The Aberdeen Citizen (BEST [sic] free newspaper in Scotland) :
But Aberdeen City Council's planning and infrastructure convenor Kate Dean said the [parking] controls were there for a reason. "If you do not want to get fined, then park in the correct place," she said. "We would also hope that people use public transport which would reduce congestion as well." She said she did not support the scrapping of parking charges...Typical. Just typical. But we can take a crumb of comfort... nowhere in her anti-car rant does Kate Dean mention that anything should be done to support or promote active transport modes like walking or cycling. Thank goodness, for these treehugger activities have no place in the city of the future (which is unlikely to have any trees for them to hug anyway). Aberdeen's latest multi-million pound indoor shopping mall - ultramodern Union Square with its extensive outdoor and covered parking accessible by thrillingly spiral ramp - that's what the city of the future will look like.
|One of the reasons for the success of Union Square is that – once you have battled your way through the traffic – at least the parking is adequate and reasonably priced.
We suppose that we have to agree to an extent, though, with Kate Dean; we agree with her that some people should be expected always to need public transport to get them to the shops - shame. Some people in the underclass will always just be too poor to afford a really nice car to get them to Union Square with its welcoming, vibrant car parking.
So, to sum up, our council needs to take note and make things right and ease transport with lots of free or very cheap car parking space and extra road capacity for cars, so that our city centre can yes become a welcoming place again, regardless of how people choose to travel, whether by car, or public transport. Either option is open. See - we're not monsters. (As long as they don't come on foot or by bike - haha, for goodness sake! Be reasonable!)