Mark Owen (left) chairman of the Gloucester branch of the FSB and branch committee member, Clive Hannis, celebrate victory over Sunday parking chargesMark Owen (left) chairman of the Gloucester branch of the FSB and branch committee member, Clive Hannis from 'the best of Gloucester' celebrate victory over Sunday parking charges.

FSB celebrates successful lobby to stave off sunday parking fees

Plans to introduce Sunday car parking fees in Gloucester have been thrown out by the city council, thanks to successful lobbying from the business community, says Mark Owen, MD of Moose Marketing & PR and Chairman of the city branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.

At a meeting of Gloucester City Council members rejected a proposal to introduce Sunday parking fees at all council operated car parks in the city centre.

Mark, who is MD of Moose Marketing & PR praised the city council’s decision, in a bid to boost the city economy in the wake of last July’s flooding disaster.

He said: “We have been lobbying the city council for some time not to introduce Sunday parking fees and to encourage people from out of town to come into the city. There are frequent events on around the city at weekends, especially in the spring and summer, many shops now open on Sundays and of course it is much quieter.

“We want people to come to Gloucester at weekends and enjoy a leisurely day out, have lunch in a pub or restaurant and soak up some of our wonderful heritage, like the Cathedral and the Docks.

“This city has so much to offer visitors and there is so much to see and do at weekends, but it becomes a lot less attractive if people have to pay for parking.

“Fortunately the FSB has a very good working relationship with the current administration and they are always co-operative and do listen to sense. The council last year agreed to cut parking fees at Station Road and Great Western Road after FSB lobbying and I like to think that was successful.

“The economic recovery of the city after last July’s floods is essential and this is one way the council can help to kick start that recovery and pave the way for the exciting regeneration plans that lie ahead.

“This was a brave decision and in the end, I am sure, the right one, although I am only too well aware that they have a duty to balance their desire to promote business with their obligation to the council tax payer by generating income from the city car parks.”

Paul James, leader of the city council, said: “We always listen to the views of traders through the FSB and the Chamber of Commerce and the council took on board the points they made.

“There is a feeling that Sunday trading is still building in the city and we don’t want to do anything to put that at risk. It was felt that by maintaining no charges it would give the city a competitive advantage over places like Cheltenham where Sunday parking charges are in place.”