Free parking in two Whitchurch car parks is being scrapped

These car parks are popular because of their two-hours-free policy, but Cardiff Council says it will end in winter.

The two car parks are on Penlline Road and Merthyr Road. This area is surrounded by local businesses and schools. People can park free for two hours, so they use these car parks a lot for shopping and picking up their children.

But now Cardiff council wants to cut the free parking. They say they are going through the “most challenging” budget this year yet, so they have to bring in more money. They say the income will be used to build transport facilities across the city, improving public transport and adding more walking and cycling paths.

Many people are unhappy with this plan, they say it will affect people using the shopping centre, which is a bad news for the local businesses. People will park their cars on the road, which will cause congestion. And shop owners are worried that the rising cost of parking will stop people going into their shops. 

Phil Davies lives in Whitchurch. He says “I have to pick up my girls from school but then I always go to see the fruit shop, I do use the village quite a lot. I think it will be detrimental for the people who want to use the village. I mean, there are lots of small trades, aren’t there? They need to go ahead and rely on people coming in. If you start to charge for people, it will destroy that small shopping centre over there.”

Joe Wispy works in IECHYD DA, a popular shop in this area. He says, “Around here especially, we are small businesses. And I think the cost burden is placed more on the customers now, which affects us as well. Because less people are likely to come to use the shops and spend a day walking around Withchurch village, which I think will be really really tough for business like us.”

Cardiff council wants to encourage people to use bikes and walk more. The new charges haven’t been announced yet. And the council says it is consulting with people about these plans.