Letter: Pocklington needs a better plan to boost economy

Pocklington shop owners need to come together with a plan.
Pocklington shop owners need to come together with a plan.

Shops in Pocklington are closing at an amazing rate - I think 11 in the last year.

I do not believe this is due to rates or rents. How can a town like Pocklington have failing businesses when it has experienced such a growth in housing and population increase?

There is a distinct correlation between the two. Parking!

If each shop owner parks outside their own shop, along with staff then the parking is nearly or possibly full. With the new McCarthy and Stone retirement homes, in a perfect location for the retired then the already full Sainsbury’s and Aldi car parks which already struggle to cope with their own customers parking, let alone the new customers they will be gaining from the closure of the Cooperative. Burnby Hall has a similar parking issue.

I think shop owners need to come together with a plan. Stage 1 could be free disc parking in the town with two hour maximum stay, this would need a warden. Or pay and display, first hour free then £2 per hour thereafter. Then overflow parking needs to be addressed with possible transport from parking to shops. Market day must kill local shops. Maybe the market should move to the football car park.

I moved to the area 16 years ago and Pocklington with its great shopping was an attraction for doing so.

For the past five years I lived in France only returning last September. I came to appreciate fresh fruit and vegetables, butcher and fishmongers and the loyal support the French give local businesses. I don’t want my meat or fish from Sainsbury’s, pre-packed. I want to deal with local traders with hand-picked produce. I don’t want household goods from Amazon when we have granddad’s shed.

But how often do I visit Pocklington and not shop because I can’t park? At least once a week and maybe more. In a busy world with three children and all their activities to accommodate often a quick 10 minute shop is all I need, but if I can’t park then I drive on.

I really hope you can circulate my email to shop owners to see if change could help our fantastic local businesses.

David Rogers

Newton Lodge