Aberystwyth businesses revved up over parking charge plan

cars parked alongside the promenade in Aberystwyth
Some businesses and residents are concerned about proposals to charge for parking

Plans to charge for parking along Aberystwyth promenade have annoyed some businesses in the town.

They said local people and staff would be most affected as there were not enough free parking spaces already.

And some are concerned it could have an effect on the number of customers that would visit spend their money there.

Ceredigion council said it did not want to comment while the proposals were being discussed.

On Aberystwyth seafront, Gareth Evans, manager of the Baravin restaurant, said he and his 21-strong team would struggle to park while at work if the plans were approved.

Gareth Evans, stood in his restaurant
Restaurant owner Gareth Evans is worried his staff will have nowhere to park and customers will stay away

"The majority of those people have to come in to work in a vehicle every day or every other day, and they have difficulty parking as it is. To then have to pay to park in order to come in to work, I don't think that's fair.

"On top of that then, the people who come here as customers. Some people come every morning for a coffee. Others come once a week.

"Whoever the customers are, they're going to consider that they have to pay to park on top of coming to visit us. You know, for some people it's not something that can be done every day, coming to visit somewhere like this. It's a treat."

Currently, parking along the promenade is free, with one-hour and two-hour free parking areas dotted along the seafront.

Alun Williams represents the Morfa and Glais ward on Ceredigion council, which includes part of the prom.

He said: "Any proposals for charging for parking on the prom have to be in the context of free permits for local residents as well as a overall review of the parking situation in the town as a whole. Having said that, it's not a crazy idea or at least seasonal charging."

But Richard Griffiths, of the Richmond Hotel, said charging would not make much difference.

"Tourists, and the quality tourists we're trying to attract to Aberystwyth, are willing to pay. They go all over Britain and they pay for parking in locations like Aberystwyth, so no real impact on quality tourism."

Nia Jones
Nia Jones said the proposals made her feel a bit sad

On the prom itself, the opinion on paying for parking was varied.

"I think it's ridiculous," said Gwenda Morgan, "I don't think they should do it. They're cutting back on everything. We pay enough rates."

Resident Nia Jones said she felt "just a little bit sad" about the proposals.

"I can see why they need to do it, but as a local person it would be great if they didn't," she said.

Simon Hancock and his family on the seafront
As a tourist, Simon Hancock said he prefers free parking in the town

Simon Hancock, who was visiting Aberystwyth with his family and was a student there 23 years ago, said the move would be bad for tourists.

"They've got to generate some money I suppose, but there must be other ways. Is it really going to generate that much money?"

Lindsay and Genine, who were visiting from England, said: "I think it's more of a shame for local people.

"I think if you're coming to visit people possibly expect to pay.

"But it must be an absolute nightmare living around here and having to park."