THERE is no doubt that Battle residents are getting a raw deal over car parking, for there are so few free spaces that it is almost impossible to find one.
Why should we have to pay sixty or eighty pence just to visit the post office, collect a prescription, or buy a loaf of bread? If you are in a good job, this is a negligible amount, but if you are a pensioner or unemployed it all adds up. It has been suggested that local traders could pay the parking charges if a customer spends £30 or more, but I am talking about people who just want to nip into Battle to buy a few small items, not a major purchase. It has also been suggested that the shops should stay open until 8pm once a week, but whoever suggested this has never had to cope with staff wages and other overheads. Once or twice at Christmas is fine when the town is full of shoppers, but not all year.
Local people should be allowed to park free of charge for one hour every morning, say between 10am and 11am, which is out of the rush hour and is long enough for a short visit to the shops. They could apply for a cardboard disc that would be displayed on their windscreen and which would have a bar code on it for their particular vehicle details and their home postcode. The parking official would be able to swipe this from outside, and see that the car number was correct so that they were entitled to park free of charge during this time.
Not only would this make life so much easier for local people, but it would also bring much more trade to local shops. Battle is slowly losing its useful shops, which then open again as estate agents or charity shops. We don’t really need any more of these, we want to keep the everyday businesses that are having to fight against the big supermarkets.
The technology for this already exists, so why not give it a go?
Claverham Way, Battle