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Greedy Councils Are Killing Our Town Centres

The city of Sarasota in sunny Florida spent hundreds of thousands of dollars installing parking metres throughout the town centre.

Only 10 months later the metres are being ripped out and consigned to the rubbish heap because they were killing retail trade.

The city fathers reckoned they could fill their coffers with parking fees - but shoppers stayed away and retailers rebelled because their tills were falling silent rather than jangling constantly.

I take my hat off to the Sarasota commissioners because they quickly realised the folly of their ways.

I just wonder how many town and city centres in Britain will fall into utter decay because local councillors are too thick or too greedy to realise that anti-car policies are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Today, shoppers have a choice and they are choosing not to put up with the bus lanes, traffic wardens, parking metres not to mention the speed and spy cameras which dominate our town and city centres.

Who needs the hassle?

Instead, they are flocking in ever growing numbers to out of town shopping centres which are easy to get to and where parking is free.

Until greedy councils the length and breadth of Britain follow the lead of the Sarasota commissioners, our town centres will decline still further and our high streets will be populated with nothing but pound shops and boarded up retail units.

It's time to wake up and smell the coffee - before it's too late.