Welcome to Doncaster Voices weekly forum. If you want to get involved, submit 150 words with name, title & photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your views may appear here next week when subject is Does Doncaster’s night economy receive undeserved bad press?
BILL MORRISON, EAST DONCASTER DEVELOPMENT TRUSTEES CHAIR
I have lived in Doncaster 55 years and parking has always been a problem. A little more thought could help solve the issue. Lakeside and Wheatley Hall Road are two areas that will suffer over development soon. What is wrong with including large park ’n’ ride as part of the infrastructure? Couple this with a feeder service into town. This service should be provided by the local authority, not the bus companies. The revenue comes back to Doncaster, not the bus operators. In turn it would encourage business to look at the town centre as a point of relocation. The scheme could be replicated as many times as it is needed. We already have park ’n’ ride but are they in the right place? Change of direction and thought will require a willingness to change. Has the LA got the nerve to dictate to the developers on planning?
LAURA ANDREWS, UNIVERSITY STUDENT
Parking in Doncaster is terrible, especially at this time of year. The only real option is the Frenchgate, which is horrendously busy. In fact my family and I avoid going into Doncaster town centre all together during December, opting instead for Sheffield or Leeds. Parking could be improved massively by adding more spaces. Even though this would be expensive, it would benefit the town greatly during the festive season. I myself am a non-driver but I have been witness to many car stresses in my parents’ cars. The parking situation often causes my mother great amounts of anxiety. If there were more parking options in Doncaster, then maybe people like my family and I would choose to shop there again. But, currently, the stress that it causes will continue to deter us. Until the new year at least!
ANDY PRICE, MANAGING DIRECTOR &CREATE
As a business owner, I regularly have client meetings either in Doncaster centre or surrounding area. Parking in the town is a bit of a lottery and can potentially stifle a local economy. You never know how much it’s actually going to cost, and how long your meeting is going to last, so I often end up worrying I’m going to get a parking ticket or the ticket has blown off the dashboard. It’s happened a few times! We need to approach parking in a different way to encourage businesses, residents and visitors alike. Doncaster could implement a parking feasibility study and find out exactly what people want to ensure everyone benefits. My parking plan is simple – flat fee across all car parks for half a day or full day’s parking. That way we would all know how much change we need and wouldn’t panic about wardens!
CHRIS PAGE, FREE PRESS CONTENT EDITOR
Credit were credit’s due, Doncaster Council decision-makers deserve Christmas kudos for their festive parking plan. Almost 200 free spaces until New Year’s Day in safely located police approved Park Mark award-winning Colonnades car park from 3 to 6pm, and Marshgate sites from 2 to 6pm, is a festive fillip for high street commerce. A timely tonic, it will hopefully set seasonal shop and stall tills ringing like St George’s Minster bells. But, let’s not stop there. Extending such schemes into 2018 would signal continued concerted support for town traders. Suspend Monday to Saturday 8am to 6pm costs for a trial period. Who knows, perhaps such a “stay and pay” incentive to those who currently gravitate, in their droves, to out of town retail parks could better boost the local economy than current charges?
* If you would like your voice heard, get in touch, email email@example.com with 150 words, name and title and a photograph of yourself. Next week’s subject is: “Does Doncaster’s night time economy receive undeserved bad press?”
* How can we market Doncaster area attractions better for tourism?