From Monday, the parking regime changes in Ludlow. A few charges are lower but mostly people will pay more on street and in central car parks. The council decided to issue its press release at midday on Wednesday, knowing full well it was too late for the Ludlow Advertiser and South Shropshire Journal. Issuing a press release just days before a major change is introduced is at best bad management. In practice, it will be a pop, shop and fine jamboree from Monday.
The new parking charges are largely unwelcome. But they are coming in on Monday. But the big thing shoppers will not know about is that pop and shop is being reduced from 15 minutes to five minutes. People parking in car parks or planning to stop longer than a few minutes on street will be told what to pay by the payment machines. But they will need to spot the sign that says that pop and shop has changed.
Pop and shop was once one of Shropshire Council’s flagship policies. It allowed shoppers to park for 15 minutes without charge. It has been very popular. Most people didn’t know that 15 minutes actually meant 15 plus ten minutes due to the legal obligation for a ten minute grace period after a parking period expires. Most people began to sweat about receiving a penalty charge notice after 15 minutes.
From Monday, people popping and shopping will not get told the regime has changed unless they see the new signs. Who has time to read signs when they are rushing into the butchers, bakers and grabbing a bunch of carrots.
From Monday, people shopping and going to the bank will sweat after five minutes. There will still be a ten minute grace period while a yellow vested Shropshire Council officer hovers around hoping to slap penalty charge notice. This is nerve wracking. One second over fifteen minutes and Shropshire Council’s loss making parking enforcement service will slap a ticket on your car.
Shropshire Council messed up the publicity in Ludlow. So, I asked the council leadership to issue warning notices rather than penalty charge notices for those stopping 15+10 rather than 5+10 between 19 to 25 November. That request was refused. “We have appropriately publicised the changes” is the formal response.
Nonsense. Shirehall has no clue how distant it is from communities in South Shropshire. It does not realise that for all its protestations it has not got the message about the new parking regime in Ludlow out to the community.
So, welcome to Shropshire Council’s pop, shop and fine jamboree. Fines galore.
This will have a chilling effect on the economy our town. I have heard from so many people that say once fined in Ludlow, never returning. I can’t blame them.