Paying for car park a curse - or a blessing?

Doncaster Council are propsing to change the currently free muti-storey carpark into a payable one. Councillor Sue Phillips pictured with traders l-r Phil Toon, Chairman of the Mexborough Branch,National Market Trader Federation, Wendy Bailey and Bev Taylor. Picture: Marie Caley S0438MC

Doncaster Council are propsing to change the currently free muti-storey carpark into a payable one. Councillor Sue Phillips pictured with traders l-r Phil Toon, Chairman of the Mexborough Branch,National Market Trader Federation, Wendy Bailey and Bev Taylor. Picture: Marie Caley S0438MC

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For more than 40 years Mexborough has enjoyed and probably taken for granted, the provision of a free multi-story car park.

At a stroke this is to become a thing of the past as Doncaster Council struggles to square the circle of ever more draconian Government funding cuts.

The council has estimated the car park will be able to generate more than £200,000 a year.

This will of course be a huge blow to market stall holders and traders on the town’s high street as more and more motorists will simply cut their losses and shop at one of the supermarkets dotted around the area or head out to out of town shopping centres like Parkgate, where parking is free.

One knock-on effect of the charges will be to increase the amount of traffic revving up outside Tescos and ignoring the no-parking signs in the pedestrianised precinct.

Another will be that the long-suffering Mexborough public should demand that the car park is maintained to an acceptable standard, with proper disabled access, working lifts and better maintained access roads.

If we are to pay for the facility, we should no longer have to wade through puddles of stagnant floodwater stinking of urine and dodge discarded nappies and broken bottles. Introducing charges for the car park could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back as trade in the town centre struggles to survive.

Or it could be a step away from the Cinderella status the town currently operates under. Let’s hope it is the latter.