Council apologies

A Merthyr Express campaign to solve parking problems after the closure of the town’s largest car park has led to an apology by the local council, writes Mary Stevens.

The Keep Merthyr Moving campaign was launched when the car park was closed to make way for a Tesco store. In two weeks, traders’ profits fell by 30 per cent.

The Express appealed to the council to do more to help traders by providing free parking, a free shuttle bus into town or using spare land around the town centre as a temporary car park. Car stickers and posters were put up and the paper appealed to locals to keep coming into the town.

Editor Jane Griffiths said: “Originally, we didn’t want this to be an attack on the council. We wanted to run a constructive campaign that encouraged everyone to do something. But as the weeks went on, Merthyr council did absolutely nothing, despite repeated appeals from us and traders to take action.”

Four weeks into the campaign, the acting chief executive, council leader and transport boss apologised to traders and shoppers for the council’s handling of the problem.

Mary Stevens

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