Cheaper Parking…Again

The council are at it again cutting the cost of parking in Swindon Town Centre.

I previously questioned the logic of that back in September.

Now, I understand the economics and I agree that it’s good to get people into town, but, as always, isn’t throwing the money at car usage incredibly short sighted?  Here’s a few reasons why (most of them repeated from last time):

  • Encouraging people to travel into town in cars increases congestion and make travel less pleasant for everyone.
  • There are lots of people (e.g. students, the elderly, those with financial problems) who don’t drive and who won’t be helped into the town centre by this.
  • It increases pollution.
  • It affirms the car as the most important travel option.
  • It’s a less healthy option.

In the meantime, Park and Rides have been closed and the already-expensive bus services cut.

To add insult to all this, the Change4Life team were out in town last Saturday with their message of “Eat Well, Move More and Live Longer” – right outside the two main car parks too!  So if you took advantage of the cheap parking and drove to town you would have been confronted with a load of people wanting you to “gain big health benefits by making small lifestyle changes” – presumably one of which is to walk or cycle to places instead of use the car.

I just wish they’d make up their minds.  Do that want Swindon to be a healthy, sustainable city?  Because if they do then they really need to be wholehearted and a little more creative in their approach to fixing the economic problems.