Lewes Chamber of Commerce is very disappointed that East Sussex County Council has decided to alienate businesses, shoppers, and tourists to the town, by significantly increasing charges for on-street parking.
Lewes businesses, especially small and independent retailers, throughout the town already have a tough enough time, with high rent and rate charges, plus the already restricted parking; this increase will further discourage people from coming to the town to shop, or visit the many attractions.
Car users are less likely to shop in Lewes town itself, and instead shop online, visit other towns or the outskirts where larger, national chains, can afford to offer parking for free.
While it is commendable that the Council wish to help decrease CO2 emissions, there does not appear to be any plans to back this up. It is simply a case of further taxing car users while, at the same time, not investing in the public transport and the other forms of travel that these increases are supposed to encourage.
The Chamber is often approached by the smaller retailers, saying how quiet Lewes can be, with few people visiting their shops. How is this on-street parking increase going to help them?
The Chamber wonders if East Sussex County Council would like to see their county town turn into a ghost town, or just become full of chain stores. They seem to have taken no interest in the views of residents and businesses of the town, with the 1,750 signature petition being given very little attention.
The Chamber calls for the Council to reconsider their decision and, for once, show more support for Lewes.
For further information contact:
01273 409410 / 07798 648924