This post was originally published on this site

Via ".@eenderinwales"

Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.So in the midst of nobody knowing what to do and as it looks as if the disunited kingdom is hurtling into a long dark Brexit of the soul I’m going to be talking about car parking charges am I? I certainly know how to keep  my finger on the pulse of a very sick group of nations.

But hey let’s crack on because it’s in a way a metaphor for Brexit.

I’ve spoken about the proposals by the Vale of Glamorgan council to impose car parking charges in the area before. Focusing specifically on it’s effects on Barry Town. Arguing that it would be the first step turning it into the urban tragedy that is Bridgend Town. Well this week the council are going to discuss the proposals.

Now nothing changes in what I said about it’s effects on Barry Town. So let’s focus instead on Barry Island and Penarth Esplanade. For those who’ve never been in either place Barry Island is the classic place of your imagination full of golden beaches (depending on the weather) and a funfair and all things seaside. Penarth Esplanade on the other hand is far more upmarket. With upmarket shops and restaurants nearby dominated by the pier (also containing amenities) which I always hesitate to go on for fear of looking down and my glasses falling off my face.

There is a beach. But compared to Barry Island it’s really a strip of craggy nothing.

And I think you could work out which of the two is more popular.

So the issue of car parking charges is being discussed this week. And for the traders of Barry Island the focus is on the effect on their winter trade. With people who like the idea of walking along beaches on a cold January night looking at the bracing sea with the sort of mournful bittersweet way seen in movies. Either by themselves, a loved one or a dog (not me I’d have to stress – hypothermia on the beach is not the way I’d like to die and as regular readers will know never with a domesticated wolf by my side).

The argument of the traders is that it will put people off visiting the Island. And they have a point given that there is a reduction in out of season charges for Penarth Esplanade but not for Barry Island.

People who’d prefer to go to Penarth Esplanade would probably be able to afford the car parking charges all season long at the same level anyway. But as I’ve said Barry Island is more popular as it offers more. Yet it would appear to be this popularity that has made it a cash cow in the eyes of the council. Let ordinary people suffer whilst the privileged take advantage? Who knows? But that is certainly the perception.

I’ve said before that car parking charges will damage many parts of the borough. Not unlike Brexit what it appears to do as well though is to give some protection to those who can afford it.

Until the next time.