DOES Ashfield District council realise what has happened to the town centre of Hucknall (pictured), a once thriving and lively market town? Does it care that the town is dead and dying on its feet.
It does not appear to be listening to the pleas from Hucknall shopkeepers and their customers.
In the past few years the town has lost, in my opinion, the best fresh fish shop in the East Midlands, a large supermarket, the main TV and electrical concern, the town centre’s main newsagent’s and general store, building societies and now it is even losing charity shops!
At present there are at least five major shopping outlets that have been empty for six months, two for almost two years.
Twenty years ago the Friday market was a jostling, busy site with stallholders finding difficulty in finding space to erect their stalls. This alas is by no means the situation today as there are often less than eight traders actually set up for business and fewer than a handful of customers to be seen. The market too is in its death throes for the same reason.
The reason behind all these problems is obviously not understood by Ashfield Council situated, as it is, in Kirkby-in-Ashfield. But all Hucknall people who shop in the town know the cause of this dilemma.
It is quite simply the lack of FREE PARKING .
In all local small towns, e.g. Eastwood, Kimberley, Arnold and Gedling, there is a generous allowance of free parking.
Kimberley: up to three hours of free parking in three car parks;
Eastwood: one hour of free parking on all pay and display car parks;
Arnold and Gedling council areas: two hours of free parking in all car parks.
Hucknall does not begin to compare with these allowances, there being no free parking in the three main car parks whatsoever during shop hours. These being Piggins Croft, Market Place and Station Roadd.
A paltry amount of parking is allowed on Albert Street, but for most the only free parking for up to two hours is out of the town centre at Tesco superstore.
This has obviously meant that the lack of packing has caused a move away from the town centre, hence so many empty shops, poor trade and an adverse effect on the town’s Friday market.
The problem has been further exacerbated by the lack of any on-street parking, even for 30 minutes or so in the town centre.
Please do listen to this plea as very soon Hucknall will be a ghost town.
(a worried resident),