Car parking charges are far too high in our some of our towns and cities. Cambridge parking charges are astonishing.
I am not alone in not going into Cambridge unless absolutely necessary and never for just wandering around the shops. The smaller individual shops suffer when this happens.
The truth is it is less hassle and a similar cost for me to jump on the train and shop in London than it is to shop in Cambridge.
I understand that councils use car parks as a cash cow to make up for the lack of funding from central government. I also understand the need to moderate traffics.
But car parking charges is a significant reason for the decline in the high street.
Of course, competition from the internment is also significant which means going to the shops must be easier not harder. Shops need to be able to develop a high quality personal service to attract shoppers who might have to pay a little more.
But what needs to happen is firstly, central government needs to fund local authorities properly for the services they need to provide, no more and no less. This will enable car parks to be used for parking cars in and not as a cash cow.
Secondly, technology already in use, should be used more widely. Number plate recognition systems will allow customers to leave car parks when they are ready to leave rather than rushing back to avoid additional charges.
More pedestrian areas are required.
Rates need reviewing and restructuring to help the smaller shops.
Rents need reviewing do if necessary controlling.