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Car park closure ‘kills trade’ says Chamber of Commerce

Outraged traders in Whitstable have demanded the resignation of some council staff after the Gorrell Tank car park has been closed.

The car park, which is leased by the council, was forced to close in May after Southern Water, the owners of the land, noticed there was a substantial risk the car park would crumble into the water tank below. It has since caused major parking problems and business disruption.

Brian Hitcham, from the Whitstable and District Chamber of Commerce, claims the closure has resulted in a parking crisis and a massive loss of business of around £1.25 million.

He said: “This is killing trade in the town. Visitor numbers are down by 30 per cent. At peak times parking in Whitstable has always been difficult. However, since the closure many of our visitors have faced a nightmare in trying to park, many having to give up, some may well not return. It can’t go on.”

However, the council defended their staff there are now plans to spend approximately £90,000 on a temporary car park using part of the Westmeads recreation ground.

A council spokesman commented: “While it is a very difficult situation, we would strongly refute the suggestion that we are doing nothing to try and resolve the car parking problem, and therefore believe that calls for resignations and sackings are an overreaction and unfair.”

More details about the parking situation can be found at the website www.canterbury.gov.uk/parking-travel-roads/parking/westmeads-parking-consultation

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