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Concern for Gillygate Busniess

Anne Reid

4:26pm 21st June 2011

New rubbish bins and street lights on Gillygate won't make up for the trade lost from the closure of Union Terrace Car Park, local Liberal Democrat Councillors have warned.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, Councillor Ann Reid, said Council Leader James Alexander's promise to 'reinvigorate' the area with new bins, street lighting and paving would be of little comfort to struggling businesses concerned about losing trade.

Ann Reid says:

"Councillor Alexander's comments will not reassure the businesses who will lose out if the car and coach park is closed and people no longer walk down Gillygate on their way into the city centre."

"New street lights and paving may improve the look of the street but many of the Gillygate businesses rely on passing trade and people aren't going to go out of their way to marvel at the new street lights."

"Union Terrace is a well used car park and brings in around £400,000 a year to the Council. Unless suitable replacement parking is provided the Council could be losing out on valuable income as residents decide it is easier to park at out of town shopping centres. That would be a big blow for Council finances and city centre businesses."

"When the Chamber of Trade raised their concerns about competition from out of town shopping centres earlier this year, James Alexander promised a 'radical' approach to parking. I'm not sure that reducing the availability of city centre parking spaces was the radical move businesses were hoping for."

Councillor Reid said the loss of dedicated disabled parking at Union Terrace was also a concern.

She said:

"The Council would need to make sure that any replacement parking provision is accessible and that coach drop off points across the city were suitable for disabled people."

"It's hard to believe that Labour have been able to consider all the issues raised by the possible sale in the short period since they took control of the Council. So far the impression given by James Alexander is that any negatives will be offset by new streetlights and bins, I'm not sure the reality will be quite that simple."

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