AN AMMANFORD shopkeeper has blamed the rise in car parking charges for the fall in his takings for the first quarter of 2014.
Town and county councillor Deian Harries, who owns a shoe shop on College Street, also blames the hike for the lack of footfall in the town.
The cost for parking in Ammanford for up to one hour is 70p, four hours costs £1, and all day is £1.50.
“The public don’t want to pay that amount for popping to the shop or post office,” said Cllr Harries.
“Takings in my shop have dropped by 30 percent, and I believe the cost of parking is somewhat responsible.”
The shoe shop owner also believes the parking charges are having an effect on illegal parking in the town.
“Drivers have resorted to parking on the side roads, angering the residents who live there,” he said. “Surely this means the revenue from the official car parks is going down?”
Although the parking in Ammanford is cheaper compared to other towns in Carmarthenshire, Cllr Harries said he believed the price was still too high for such a small town.
“I don’t think parking should be free, but the price is only going to get higher over the years,” he added.
Chamber of Trade secretary Angela Phillips added that although she agreed with Cllr Harries that footfall in the town was down, she didn’t believe it was solely down to the car parking charges.
“Footfall is down everywhere, not just in Ammanford,” she said.
“But I will agree that members of the public will try and avoid paying for parking.”
Ms Phillips said she would bring up Cllr Harries’ concerns at the next Chamber of Trade meeting.
What do you think of the parking charges in Ammanford?
Are they too much?
Do you try and avoid paying them?
Or, do you think they are reasonably priced?
Let us know by commenting below.