How parking permits are affecting small businesses and their profits

Parking permits in Cathays are relatively new, but do they come at a cost for businesses? One local businessman says ‘Get rid of them’

Bar 105 owner Kimat wishes that parking could go back to how it was before the introduction of parking permits

One local business owner Kimat Singh says that the council should get rid of zonal parking permits in Cathays and “go back to normal.”

Singh owns Bar 105 on Cathays Terrace, and has seen a significant decline in the number of customers since the permits were introduced in 2021, saying that custom has dropped by “at least 30%” in the last year leading to less income. 

Before the parking permits were introduced, he would have people stop by on their way home from work for a quick drink, but now with nowhere to park, this passing trade is a thing of the past. 

Bar 105 has been open for six years, with the owner having run businesses in Cathays for 10 years. He said the introduction of the permits has been the most impactful change ever to businesses, stating he doesn’t think anything has been taken into consideration  for them. 

Singh said  he has to spend more time at work, away from his two young granddaughters, because now he has to search for a parking space as he can’t afford to be spending money on a business permit, a new expense for businesses since the introduction of the parking permits, especially when it does not guarantee a space. A permit is £40 for the year, which is more than the profit he makes some evenings. He is also unable to unload his stock anymore without parking a long way away or risking a fine. 

Serdar Ali, 39, who owns Coffee Tree on Cathays Terrace also  said he has seen a reduction in customers because parking is now “very difficult.”

The parking zones within Cathays are split into four areas, meaning that people with permits are limited to parking in their designated zones. Some unrestricted parking areas remain, but this is limited and far away from homes and businesses.  

Singh added that if the permits had been in place when he first opened the bar, he would have reconsidered buying it due to there being nowhere for customers to park.