Shoppers deterred from visiting VRSA city centre

vrsaVila Real de Santo António council has decided to deter shoppers in the city for 30 years by allowing a widespread parking meter scheme in return for a monthly fee. 

Parking meters in and around the city centre already have been installed to the horror of local shopkeepers who fear less trade will result. More meters are planned, bringing the total to 1,800.

The wider area covered by parking meters will go live at the beginning of July, neatly coinciding with the beginning of the holiday season in a move almost designed to deter tourists and shoppers from out of town.

The blinkered council measure aims to create a higher income from parking charges and claims that two dozen jobs will be created just to run the scheme.

There soon will be a total of 1,800 metered car parking spaces in the centre of Vila Real de Santo António with summertime charges of 80 cents an hour and 60 cents in the winter when shoppers across the eastern Algarve and from Spain come to see the Christmas Fair and do their shopping.

More bizarrely, those resident in the city can get exemptions for up to three cars each and will pay no charges.

These exemptions are designed solely to get the deal through the council assembly and inevitably will be short-term as residents will take up most of the available spaces and the concession holder will need to start charging them or raising the hourly parking rates to incomers.

It is not yet known if those who drive into the city to work will be covered by the exemption.

The company that won the tender is called Estacionamentos à Superfície e Subterrâneos, or ESSE for short and now has a 30-year contract.

ESSE is to pay €400,000 to VRSA council at the start of the term and will pay the council ‘never less’ than €15,000 a month thereafter.

 

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Comments  

+5 #15 Ollie Voile 2015-06-28 10:39
Quoting Susan B:
Quoting Jim Grant:
Quoting Susan B:
Quoting Opel Fruit:
VRSAntonio heaving with shoppers today. What's the problem? shouldn't we be getting people out of cars and on to public transport?


Public transport? Please advise....


Excellent bus services to VRSA, good bus services, ferry from Ayamonte, even taxi services are around. What more do moaners want?
A taxi from where I live would be €32 each way and as for a bus - forget it, nao existe. I live north of VRSA so the train is not an option. The car is the only way and I will just nip over to Ayamonte to avoid the parking hassle. Problem solved.


If you go to park free in Ayamonte, you can just nip over to VRSA on the ferry to do your shopping. Result!
+4 #14 Albert Tatlock 2015-06-28 10:34
Quoting Susan B:
Quoting Jim Grant:
Quoting Susan B:
Quoting Opel Fruit:
VRSAntonio heaving with shoppers today. What's the problem? shouldn't we be getting people out of cars and on to public transport?


Public transport? Please advise....


Excellent bus services to VRSA, good bus services, ferry from Ayamonte, even taxi services are around. What more do moaners want?
A taxi from where I live would be €32 each way and as for a bus - forget it, nao existe. I live north of VRSA so the train is not an option. The car is the only way and I will just nip over to Ayamonte to avoid the parking hassle. Problem solved.


Sadly there are places public transport just can't reach. But are you seriously telling us you are daft enough to drive to Spain (incurring motorway toll?) just to avoid paying for parking or using the free spaces which are not more than a few hundred metres from the VRSA shops? Motorists are even crazier than I thought!
0 #13 Susan B 2015-06-27 07:47
Quoting Jim Grant:
Quoting Susan B:
Quoting Opel Fruit:
VRSAntonio heaving with shoppers today. What's the problem? shouldn't we be getting people out of cars and on to public transport?


Public transport? Please advise....


Excellent bus services to VRSA, good bus services, ferry from Ayamonte, even taxi services are around. What more do moaners want?
A taxi from where I live would be €32 each way and as for a bus - forget it, nao existe. I live north of VRSA so the train is not an option. The car is the only way and I will just nip over to Ayamonte to avoid the parking hassle. Problem solved.
+2 #12 Mary G McLoughlin 2015-06-23 17:59
Quoting Jim Grant:
Quoting Susan B:
Quoting Opel Fruit:
VRSAntonio heaving with shoppers today. What's the problem? shouldn't we be getting people out of cars and on to public transport?


Public transport? Please advise....


Excellent bus services to VRSA, good bus services, ferry from Ayamonte, even taxi services are around. What more do moaners want?


Sadly, it's a worldwide problem. As soon as someone buys or even rents a car, they think they own the road, and should be able to park wherever and whenever they choose. I think you meant to say excellent rail service, by the way.
+9 #11 Jim Grant 2015-06-23 10:15
Quoting Susan B:
Quoting Opel Fruit:
VRSAntonio heaving with shoppers today. What's the problem? shouldn't we be getting people out of cars and on to public transport?


Public transport? Please advise....


Excellent bus services to VRSA, good bus services, ferry from Ayamonte, even taxi services are around. What more do moaners want?
-10 #10 Susan B 2015-06-22 23:43
Quoting Opel Fruit:
VRSAntonio heaving with shoppers today. What's the problem? shouldn't we be getting people out of cars and on to public transport?


Public transport? Please advise....
-7 #9 Des 2015-06-22 23:41
Quoting Ford Anglia:
Please can we have some serious journalism? This dreadfully biased piece is rubbish. VRSA - like Olhão, Fuzeta, and other places along the Algarve - is blighted by brazen and illegal parking. Get the cars out of the city, and the people will come ... Use the bus or the train. Or if from Spain, the ferry!


I don't think this news item is biased or dreadful at all. It's the council wanting to charge people to park and the shopkeepers saying this is not sensible as of course it will put people off. Using the train is not exactly convenient schedule-wise or when carrying shopping. Olhao parking is free by the park to the west where there is a big area. We park there and walk into the market, it's about 3 or 4 minutes which when carrying out shopping is enough. If you want the cars out of the city, put down yellow lines. Parking meters will not keep cars from the city centre.
-5 #8 Peter P 2015-06-22 23:30
Quoting Ford Anglia:
Please can we have some serious journalism? This dreadfully biased piece is rubbish. VRSA - like Olhão, Fuzeta, and other places along the Algarve - is blighted by brazen and illegal parking. Get the cars out of the city, and the people will come ... Use the bus or the train. Or if from Spain, the ferry!
The train station in VRSA is quite a way from the centre, certainly a slog if carrying shopping back.

Olhao has meters along the Avenida and near the markets, balanced with acres of free parking near the hotel, in fact a large new section has just been created near the police station to encourage people to visit, park for free and enjoy the city. VRSA with 1,800 parking meters will deter people driving there to shop, me for one.
+4 #7 Opel Fruit 2015-06-22 22:34
VRSAntonio heaving with shoppers today. What's the problem? shouldn't we be getting people out of cars and on to public transport?
+6 #6 Ford Anglia 2015-06-22 22:31
Please can we have some serious journalism? This dreadfully biased piece is rubbish. VRSA - like Olhão, Fuzeta, and other places along the Algarve - is blighted by brazen and illegal parking. Get the cars out of the city, and the people will come ... Use the bus or the train. Or if from Spain, the ferry!

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