Sunday, 26 September 2021

Traders want more customer parking

MORE parking space is needed in the centre of Goring, the village’s traders have warned.

MORE parking space is needed in the centre of Goring, the village’s traders have warned.

At least a dozen retailers have signed a letter to the parish council saying customers often struggle to find a space. They say it is a frequent complaint and fear they could lose business.

They say most shoppers try to stop in the Wheel Orchard car park, off Station Road, but increasingly find that all 40 bays are full. There are few alternatives as most of Goring’s side streets have double yellow lines. 

Three or four of the spaces are usually occupied by Royal Mail delivery vehicles as the company has a sorting office in Goring high street while others are taken by people who arrive early and stay all day.

The traders believe some are tourists taking long country walks while others are commuters avoiding the higher long-stay charges at the railway station car park off Gatehampton Road.

The letter, whose signatories include Virgo Beauty, the Chocolate Café, hairdresser Albert Fields, the Goring Grocer and gift shop Inspiration, doesn’t propose solutions but says a consultation should be held so everyone can suggest ideas.

Sarah Virgo, the owner of Virgo Beauty, who organised the letter, said: “We bring a lot of trade into the village but if people can’t park easily they’re going to stop coming.

“We have customers telling us daily that the parking is dreadful and with more new homes coming to Goring the problem is only going to get worse. I’ve lived in the village for many years and it’s definitely more of an issue that it once was.”

The parish council has raised the issue with South Oxfordshire District Council, which runs the car park, and highways authority Oxfordshire County Council.

Councillor Kevin Bulmer, the chairman, who is also Goring’s county councillor, said: “One option might be amending the charging structure at the Wheel Orchard to encourage long-term rather than short-term parking.

“It might even be that the parish council takes over the Wheel Orchard as it is closer to what’s going on and can respond more quickly to these problems.”

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