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Chamber survey – town centre car parking

Banbury Chamber Car Parking Survey supports free parking, personally speaking.

Cherwell District Council should offer free parking for 2 hours and find alternatives to cover the shortfall – according to Members of the Banbury Chamber of Commerce. Members were responding to a Chamber survey on the persistent issue of free car parking in Banbury Town Centre. The survey has gained the largest response from Banbury Chamber Members, who are regularly consulted on town and business related issues; 75 local businesses responded to the survey.

Over half the responses indicated that free car parking was an important issue for their business, despite the fact that at least half of these businesses stated that they were located outside the town centre on industrial estates or in outlying areas, often with their own private parking facilities.  But the key finding which emerges from the survey is that the members see this is as a key issue from a personal perspective, with an overwhelming 83% indicating that free car parking is either very important or important to them personally. 87% supported the idea of free parking in the evenings and weekends. A number of responses even indicated that they avoid the town centre or go elsewhere to shop because of the parking issue.

The respondents indicated numerous suggestions for how the Council could fund the shortfall created by lost revenue. These included increasing Council Tax, along with suggestions for introducing new tariffs whereby initial free parking periods might be offset by more expensive parking for long term parking. The Chamber has passed the Survey to the Council and meets regularly with CDC to discuss Banbury’s economic welfare.

Chairman Richard Hunter said “The Chamber is a key focal point for business in Banbury and we are keen to ensure that issues raised by our Members are represented to Cherwell District Council. Free car parking for Banbury town centre is clearly a persistent issue for businesses and shoppers, as this survey shows”.

Editor Notes

Survey Key Findings:

  • Banbury Chamber conducted the survey via e-mail link between 16 January 2014 – 7 February 2014.
  • An estimated 50% of the respondents are not based in the town centre, but in industrial estates and outlying areas of Banbury.
  • There were 75 Respondents.
  • 51% respondents think that free car parking is very important to their business. 49% do not think it is an important issue for their business.
  • 44% of respondents stated that free car parking would affect their business.
  • 83% of respondents state that free car parking is very important or important to them on a personal basis.
  • 87% stated that the town should offer free car parking.T

The Banbury Chamber of Commerce

  • The aim of the Chamber is to improve the economic environment whilst sustaining quality of life within the community by ensuring effective transportation, education and skills training, adequate development of land and a vibrant town centre.
  • Our current membership includes businesses both large and small that cover a wide range of business sectors, both in Banbury and the surrounding area.
  • The Chamber gives members access to the decision makers either personally or through the board as it meets regularly with members and officers of Cherwell District Council.
  • We are pursuing the Cherwell’s Local Development Framework and economic development in the form of the M40 partnership and leisure facilities.
  • We also liaise with Oxfordshire County Council on the county structure plan and transport plan.
  • We have excellent communications with our local MP Sir Tony Baldry and meet twice yearly with Graeme Chaplin, Agent at the Agency for the West Midlands Bank of England.