Parking charges on the Colwyn Bay promenade

The following article was originally published in the North Wales Weekly News newspaper on 1 June 2016.
One of the most pleasing local developments of recent years has been the progressive improvement of the seafront in Colwyn Bay.
It is true that the magnificent sweep of what is one of the finest bays in the country remains disfigured by the carbuncle that is the Victoria Pier (about which I have recently written), but in other respects things are certainly looking up. The new beach  that was laid a few years ago has become a huge attraction for families during the summer months. Porth Eirias, which long stood empty, is now home to Bryn Williams’s successful bistro. And as I write, the rusty old promenade railings are being replaced by smart new ones.  Colwyn Bay is undergoing a makeover, and full credit should be given to the Borough Council for its efforts.
The village of Rhos, which is the only part of the Colwyn conurbation where town meets sea, is  looking increasingly attractive. Indeed, it is thriving, with bustling shops and well-patronised cafés and restaurants. There are almost no empty units in the village.
Eight years after the great downturn, we should all welcome this renaissance in the town’s fortunes.  It would be such a pity if anything were done to impede the revival.
However, there is one dark cloud on the horizon. The Borough Council has announced that it is exploring the option of introducing car parking charges on the promenade. The Bay of Colwyn Town Council has rightly expressed concern at the  proposal.  They make the point, quite reasonably, that this could have a severe and detrimental impact on the health and well-being of the local population, many of whom visit the beach regularly for fresh air and exercise.
Parking charges on the promenade would also impact upon businesses, particularly at the Rhos end of the prom. There would undoubtedly also be an adverse  impact upon residential streets in the  area, with visitors using them to dodge the parking fees.
All this is to be avoided. If Colwyn Bay is to continue its recovery, now is not the time to be imposing a tax on  the visitors who are bringing renewed prosperity to our town.

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