Is the decline of once-thriving thoroughfare symptomatic of town's problems?

The Advertiser Series: SIGN OF TIMES: To Let signs compete for space in Post House Wynd, Darlington SIGN OF TIMES: To Let signs compete for space in Post House Wynd, Darlington

POST HOUSE WYND used to be one of the most bustling streets in Darlington town centre.

These days, it seems there are more shops available for let than there are open for business.

Many shoppers and shop owners in the little thoroughfare linking High Row and Skinnergate say the rapid decline is down to one main issue - parking.

It is evident people are choosing to spend their money in the region’s shopping centres with free parking facilities such as the MetroCentre, and Teesside Park, instead of paying to park in Darlington.

Others point to the rise of online shopping and the economic gloom of recent years as reasons for the decline.

Gail Harker, owner of Lady J Lingerie, said: “It’s hard for us to compete with the main high street shops. We’re trying to offer something different in order to draw people here, but it’s difficult.”

Les McGhee, of Asquiths jeweller, added: “The street has a history of jewellers and that’s why we moved here 17 years ago.

“Now Bramwells and Hoopers have gone. It’s like skittles, once one goes, we will all go.”

Other shops that have departed Post House Wynd in recent months are Parker tools, Seasons cafe, Ventur photography, and the popular Nearly Naked Chef deli.

Shopper Marilyn Scoffin said: “It’s a lovely street and it’s such a shame.”

The pretty little street used to have a very high footfall. Most shop owners say this was the reason they chose base themselves there in the first place.

That has declined in recent years.

Alex Hirst, manager of Darlington’s business improvement district company, Distinct Darlington, highlighted the positive.

She said: “It is unfortunate to see a higher proportion of empty units in Post House Wynd. However, compared with the national average of 13 per cent, Darlington’s vacant shop rate fares better, at nine per cent, and this is continuing to improve.

“This demonstrates that in a difficult economic climate, Darlington town centre is continuing to develop above and beyond the national picture.

“Several small business owners on the street say they are looking for alternative premises as rent is too high and overheads are hard to cover when business is not at his best.

Staffs are losing their jobs and livelihoods are being put at risk, so for Post House Wynd, things may get worse before they get better.

Comments (40)

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10:31am Tue 6 May 14

MSG says...

Yes it is parking that is the problem. The town hall car park is being built on. The old coach station car park is being built on. The parking is not free like Middlesbrough, Tesside park or even Darlington & North Road retail parks. The ring road is being made anti-car and pro-bus, even for those of us who have lost their bus services due to Borough Council cuts !
This disaster is being masterminded by the inept council leader Dixon and its unrequired chief executive Burns, both on their vast salaries. These two need to be sacked and get this town back on its feet before it dies !
Yes it is parking that is the problem. The town hall car park is being built on. The old coach station car park is being built on. The parking is not free like Middlesbrough, Tesside park or even Darlington & North Road retail parks. The ring road is being made anti-car and pro-bus, even for those of us who have lost their bus services due to Borough Council cuts ! This disaster is being masterminded by the inept council leader Dixon and its unrequired chief executive Burns, both on their vast salaries. These two need to be sacked and get this town back on its feet before it dies ! MSG
  • Score: 55

10:35am Tue 6 May 14

andygib263 says...

I'm surprised to hear such a negative response from MSG. Ignoring the fact, as stated in the article, the vacancy rate in the town is lower than national average as ever to bash the council is the only thing you ever comment.

Believe me I won't be voting this Labour council in the local elections but your boring, repeated rambling don't change even if a more positive story is posted.
I'm surprised to hear such a negative response from MSG. Ignoring the fact, as stated in the article, the vacancy rate in the town is lower than national average as ever to bash the council is the only thing you ever comment. Believe me I won't be voting this Labour council in the local elections but your boring, repeated rambling don't change even if a more positive story is posted. andygib263
  • Score: -26

11:02am Tue 6 May 14

JJ2000 says...

1. Business owners are being illegally and unethically forced to subsidise the creation and continued existence of BiD on the premise that Bid would generate more footfall and business into the town. This is not happening.
2. The costs of rent and utilities are indeed increasing and Bid seem to acknowledge this, so why are they taking even more money from businesses based on the results of a severely flawed vote which is compounding the financial issues raised.
3. As staff lose jobs a consequence is that there are more people in the area who have to be more frugal with their money, meaning less money for local business.
4. Darlington is too much of a farce to get parked for any length of time. Shopping should generally be a pleasing and relaxing experience, but tiny car parks with limited access charged at nonsense rates being patrolled by officers wearing dark colours with red emblems (akin to 1940's Paris) who are waiting for you to be 5 minutes late or 0.25mm over the white marked bays (shrinking yearly) so they can drag you off never to be seen again hardly contributes to a welcoming experience.

BiD are not doing their job, DBC are not doing their job, and until they do, Darlington will continue to decline.
Also, comparing Darlington to other towns and national averages is the very reason to why the majority of the UK is going backwards. Being happy at being average is not a reason to boast.

While it may cost a little more in fuel to go to Teesside park or the Metro Center, the fact that you can park and stay all day, do what you want and in your own time at a pace that suits you, means that overall, it's more beneficial to go there than Darlington.

While the internet certainly has its effects, people still physically shop if the experience is pleasurable.
Darlington is not pleasurable any more.

Wake up DBC and BiD and take some **** accountability, this is your legacy that you're creating. Don't put the onus on the residents of a town whose heart is being being ignored by those who are supposed to be responsible for it.
1. Business owners are being illegally and unethically forced to subsidise the creation and continued existence of BiD on the premise that Bid would generate more footfall and business into the town. This is not happening. 2. The costs of rent and utilities are indeed increasing and Bid seem to acknowledge this, so why are they taking even more money from businesses based on the results of a severely flawed vote which is compounding the financial issues raised. 3. As staff lose jobs a consequence is that there are more people in the area who have to be more frugal with their money, meaning less money for local business. 4. Darlington is too much of a farce to get parked for any length of time. Shopping should generally be a pleasing and relaxing experience, but tiny car parks with limited access charged at nonsense rates being patrolled by officers wearing dark colours with red emblems (akin to 1940's Paris) who are waiting for you to be 5 minutes late or 0.25mm over the white marked bays (shrinking yearly) so they can drag you off never to be seen again hardly contributes to a welcoming experience. BiD are not doing their job, DBC are not doing their job, and until they do, Darlington will continue to decline. Also, comparing Darlington to other towns and national averages is the very reason to why the majority of the UK is going backwards. Being happy at being average is not a reason to boast. While it may cost a little more in fuel to go to Teesside park or the Metro Center, the fact that you can park and stay all day, do what you want and in your own time at a pace that suits you, means that overall, it's more beneficial to go there than Darlington. While the internet certainly has its effects, people still physically shop if the experience is pleasurable. Darlington is not pleasurable any more. Wake up DBC and BiD and take some **** accountability, this is your legacy that you're creating. Don't put the onus on the residents of a town whose heart is being being ignored by those who are supposed to be responsible for it. JJ2000
  • Score: 53

11:03am Tue 6 May 14

delboy1977 says...

Parking lololololol i think you might find its got a lot to do with this amazing thing called the Internet ! it allows you to search and buy items online, saving valuable time tramping round the shops, lets just say you need a battery for your watch would you A: head into town taking the best part off 40 minutes (depending where you live) or B: logon to Amazon and buy the said battery for cheaper might i add and all in less than 5 minutes ! leaving 35 minutes extra time in the gym !
Parking lololololol i think you might find its got a lot to do with this amazing thing called the Internet ! it allows you to search and buy items online, saving valuable time tramping round the shops, lets just say you need a battery for your watch would you A: head into town taking the best part off 40 minutes (depending where you live) or B: logon to Amazon and buy the said battery for cheaper might i add and all in less than 5 minutes ! leaving 35 minutes extra time in the gym ! delboy1977
  • Score: 11

11:15am Tue 6 May 14

Rosvanian says...

MSG wrote:
Yes it is parking that is the problem. The town hall car park is being built on. The old coach station car park is being built on. The parking is not free like Middlesbrough, Tesside park or even Darlington & North Road retail parks. The ring road is being made anti-car and pro-bus, even for those of us who have lost their bus services due to Borough Council cuts ! This disaster is being masterminded by the inept council leader Dixon and its unrequired chief executive Burns, both on their vast salaries. These two need to be sacked and get this town back on its feet before it dies !
Yak, yak, yak, bloody councillors, yak, yak, yak, inept, yak, yak, yak, disgrace, yeak, yak, yak, yak, blah, blah, blah.

You know, I've got it on good authority that Bill Dixon and Ada Burns - yes, themselves personally - were responsible for the No 24 bus being late at 10.00am last Friday morning causing me to be late for a doctor's appointment, the scuffle outside my local at 10.30pm on Saturday night, and the heavy shower that occurred on Sunday afternoon just after I'd hung out my washing. All masterminded by themselves ,personally, Well, Dixon and Burns, you don't fool me. No siree.
[quote][p][bold]MSG[/bold] wrote: Yes it is parking that is the problem. The town hall car park is being built on. The old coach station car park is being built on. The parking is not free like Middlesbrough, Tesside park or even Darlington & North Road retail parks. The ring road is being made anti-car and pro-bus, even for those of us who have lost their bus services due to Borough Council cuts ! This disaster is being masterminded by the inept council leader Dixon and its unrequired chief executive Burns, both on their vast salaries. These two need to be sacked and get this town back on its feet before it dies ![/p][/quote]Yak, yak, yak, bloody councillors, yak, yak, yak, inept, yak, yak, yak, disgrace, yeak, yak, yak, yak, blah, blah, blah. You know, I've got it on good authority that Bill Dixon and Ada Burns - yes, themselves personally - were responsible for the No 24 bus being late at 10.00am last Friday morning causing me to be late for a doctor's appointment, the scuffle outside my local at 10.30pm on Saturday night, and the heavy shower that occurred on Sunday afternoon just after I'd hung out my washing. All masterminded by themselves ,personally, Well, Dixon and Burns, you don't fool me. No siree. Rosvanian
  • Score: -30

11:38am Tue 6 May 14

Apocalypse Later says...

If you think Post House Wynd has empty shops then take a walk down Queen Street - there is hardly f*** all left
If you think Post House Wynd has empty shops then take a walk down Queen Street - there is hardly f*** all left Apocalypse Later
  • Score: 53

11:40am Tue 6 May 14

g8crasher says...

Sort the parking out and ban anyone who either wears at tracksuit when not doing sport, has a neck tattoo or anyone who calls their benefits their wages.

That might entice a few people back
Sort the parking out and ban anyone who either wears at tracksuit when not doing sport, has a neck tattoo or anyone who calls their benefits their wages. That might entice a few people back g8crasher
  • Score: 55

12:08pm Tue 6 May 14

MSG says...

andygib263 wrote:
I'm surprised to hear such a negative response from MSG. Ignoring the fact, as stated in the article, the vacancy rate in the town is lower than national average as ever to bash the council is the only thing you ever comment.

Believe me I won't be voting this Labour council in the local elections but your boring, repeated rambling don't change even if a more positive story is posted.
Whats positive about empty shops or the loss of your bus service or building on much needed car parks ? So yes it is the same statement until things change !

I guess your not affected so you are not angry ? I lost my night time buss service but still have to pay these two overpaid members of DBC staff. How do i go to the new cinema - No bus and limited car parks near it.
[quote][p][bold]andygib263[/bold] wrote: I'm surprised to hear such a negative response from MSG. Ignoring the fact, as stated in the article, the vacancy rate in the town is lower than national average as ever to bash the council is the only thing you ever comment. Believe me I won't be voting this Labour council in the local elections but your boring, repeated rambling don't change even if a more positive story is posted.[/p][/quote]Whats positive about empty shops or the loss of your bus service or building on much needed car parks ? So yes it is the same statement until things change ! I guess your not affected so you are not angry ? I lost my night time buss service but still have to pay these two overpaid members of DBC staff. How do i go to the new cinema - No bus and limited car parks near it. MSG
  • Score: 21

12:33pm Tue 6 May 14

Topcat28 says...

Business' and councils need to adapt, the internet and parking charges are here to stay. There are a number of business' in the town centre that thrive and these are the ones that offer something different to what's available online. I think the town centre should be switching to services rather then selling goods.
Business' and councils need to adapt, the internet and parking charges are here to stay. There are a number of business' in the town centre that thrive and these are the ones that offer something different to what's available online. I think the town centre should be switching to services rather then selling goods. Topcat28
  • Score: -14

12:35pm Tue 6 May 14

loan_star says...

Personally I think it matters not one bit who is in power, the problems will be the same. However where Dixon and Burns fall down is they seem to think there isnt a problem and refuse to acknowledge the concerns of the shopkeepers.
Personally I think it matters not one bit who is in power, the problems will be the same. However where Dixon and Burns fall down is they seem to think there isnt a problem and refuse to acknowledge the concerns of the shopkeepers. loan_star
  • Score: 31

12:38pm Tue 6 May 14

Homshaw1 says...

It is difficult for small retailers. In addition to the empty shops I suspect many retailers are struggling but continue because they are locked into leases with personal guarantees. For many it is a case of stay open and lose x number of pounds or close and lose even more.As a shop closes there seems to be a stream of people queuing up thinking they can do better. Generally they can't.

Whatever people say high parking fees, BID etc do not help. If you live in Darlington you will probably shop in Darlington. If you live between the Metro Centre. Teesside Park or Middlesbrough and Darlington you would not choose Darlington. Parking charges need reducing. I suspect BID will go when it comes up for renewal

Commercial rents are falling. It's tough if you bought property at the peak of the market but Landlords need to reduce rents.

The biggest problem is this is a long term trend. On-line shopping massive retailers with their massive buying power and Metro Centre type setup are destroying Town centres as we know them
It is difficult for small retailers. In addition to the empty shops I suspect many retailers are struggling but continue because they are locked into leases with personal guarantees. For many it is a case of stay open and lose x number of pounds or close and lose even more.As a shop closes there seems to be a stream of people queuing up thinking they can do better. Generally they can't. Whatever people say high parking fees, BID etc do not help. If you live in Darlington you will probably shop in Darlington. If you live between the Metro Centre. Teesside Park or Middlesbrough and Darlington you would not choose Darlington. Parking charges need reducing. I suspect BID will go when it comes up for renewal Commercial rents are falling. It's tough if you bought property at the peak of the market but Landlords need to reduce rents. The biggest problem is this is a long term trend. On-line shopping massive retailers with their massive buying power and Metro Centre type setup are destroying Town centres as we know them Homshaw1
  • Score: 12

1:02pm Tue 6 May 14

miketually says...

Online retail sales have been growing at roughly 18% per year, every year for the last few years. This, coupled with the recession, is bound to impact upon the high street. Based on the number of empty units, Darlington is faring better than other towns in the region.

Car parking is a balancing act. If it's made free, it will fill up and people won't come because it's hard to park. If it's too expensive, it will put off shoppers.

I think some shops perhaps need to think about when they're opening. If they're competing with Teesside Park, their opening hours need to reflect this. After 6pm parking in town is free but the shops are shut...

The council will have figures for when the car parks are busiest. It makes sense to keep the charge for these times but decrease it when they're quieter. Perhaps we need free parking after 4pm so those people heading home after school/work are able to call into the town centre? On a Sunday, parking is almost free, so if the price of parking were the only issue we'd expect the town to be as busy at Teesside Park on a Sunday?

What I don't think helps are constant negative stories in the Echo. Whenever I go into town on a weekend it's busy and pleasant, but this isn't reflected in the picture given by the paper.
Online retail sales have been growing at roughly 18% per year, every year for the last few years. This, coupled with the recession, is bound to impact upon the high street. Based on the number of empty units, Darlington is faring better than other towns in the region. Car parking is a balancing act. If it's made free, it will fill up and people won't come because it's hard to park. If it's too expensive, it will put off shoppers. I think some shops perhaps need to think about when they're opening. If they're competing with Teesside Park, their opening hours need to reflect this. After 6pm parking in town is free but the shops are shut... The council will have figures for when the car parks are busiest. It makes sense to keep the charge for these times but decrease it when they're quieter. Perhaps we need free parking after 4pm so those people heading home after school/work are able to call into the town centre? On a Sunday, parking is almost free, so if the price of parking were the only issue we'd expect the town to be as busy at Teesside Park on a Sunday? What I don't think helps are constant negative stories in the Echo. Whenever I go into town on a weekend it's busy and pleasant, but this isn't reflected in the picture given by the paper. miketually
  • Score: 1

2:16pm Tue 6 May 14

stevegg says...

Symtomatic of most town centres which are being killed off by out of town retail parks & the continual rise and rise of online shopping which is convenient, offers far more choice than any shop could & is financialy competative. Its the future. Darlington town centre is already in transition from a retail outlet to a leisure based venue, fewer people go there to shop, DBC relies on the income generated from parking far to much to see it cut as that revenue cannot afford to be lost but in the end they are cutting their own (and taxpayers) throats.
Symtomatic of most town centres which are being killed off by out of town retail parks & the continual rise and rise of online shopping which is convenient, offers far more choice than any shop could & is financialy competative. Its the future. Darlington town centre is already in transition from a retail outlet to a leisure based venue, fewer people go there to shop, DBC relies on the income generated from parking far to much to see it cut as that revenue cannot afford to be lost but in the end they are cutting their own (and taxpayers) throats. stevegg
  • Score: 18

2:58pm Tue 6 May 14

bones26 says...

Burns and Dixon sounds like a new store ,BaD
Burns and Dixon sounds like a new store ,BaD bones26
  • Score: 11

3:22pm Tue 6 May 14

andygib263 says...

MSG wrote:
andygib263 wrote:
I'm surprised to hear such a negative response from MSG. Ignoring the fact, as stated in the article, the vacancy rate in the town is lower than national average as ever to bash the council is the only thing you ever comment.

Believe me I won't be voting this Labour council in the local elections but your boring, repeated rambling don't change even if a more positive story is posted.
Whats positive about empty shops or the loss of your bus service or building on much needed car parks ? So yes it is the same statement until things change !

I guess your not affected so you are not angry ? I lost my night time buss service but still have to pay these two overpaid members of DBC staff. How do i go to the new cinema - No bus and limited car parks near it.
You are right, I am unaffected by the loss of your bus service as I frequently use my car to park in the town centre without any problems.

As has been posted by miketually, I find that on most occasions the town centre to be busy and a very pleasant experience. With lower occupancy rates in our lovely town centre it would be nice if your comments reflected a more positive view point
[quote][p][bold]MSG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]andygib263[/bold] wrote: I'm surprised to hear such a negative response from MSG. Ignoring the fact, as stated in the article, the vacancy rate in the town is lower than national average as ever to bash the council is the only thing you ever comment. Believe me I won't be voting this Labour council in the local elections but your boring, repeated rambling don't change even if a more positive story is posted.[/p][/quote]Whats positive about empty shops or the loss of your bus service or building on much needed car parks ? So yes it is the same statement until things change ! I guess your not affected so you are not angry ? I lost my night time buss service but still have to pay these two overpaid members of DBC staff. How do i go to the new cinema - No bus and limited car parks near it.[/p][/quote]You are right, I am unaffected by the loss of your bus service as I frequently use my car to park in the town centre without any problems. As has been posted by miketually, I find that on most occasions the town centre to be busy and a very pleasant experience. With lower occupancy rates in our lovely town centre it would be nice if your comments reflected a more positive view point andygib263
  • Score: -10

5:18pm Tue 6 May 14

thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth says...

The decline of Darlington town center is not just down to parking - although the level of parking fees here certainly doesn't help that's for sure. You need to look a little deeper,... overflowing bins everywhere, cigarette ends overflowing from every bin in sight, smokers stood outside most pubs and shop entrances, filthy pavements covered in litter and chewing gum, buses, some of the people themselves - there are so many fat chavs and foul mouthed scum bags roaming around on any given day that decent folk would rather just avoid the place all together. And that's before we even get into shops situation....Charity shops galore , betting shops galore, Greggs and too many other fast food outlets, the complete lack of public toilets, the fact you can't drink from a glass when you buy a drink from a pub and sit outside. Oh and of course the Internet, where you will nearly always find a better deal and better value for money, and be able to avoid all of the above.

I could go on, but there's little or no point as the place is a lost cause these days - ruined by interfering Labour Councils and busybody's hell bent of pursuing their own private agendas and ignoring the wishes and needs of the local businesses and people who use the town.
The decline of Darlington town center is not just down to parking - although the level of parking fees here certainly doesn't help that's for sure. You need to look a little deeper,... overflowing bins everywhere, cigarette ends overflowing from every bin in sight, smokers stood outside most pubs and shop entrances, filthy pavements covered in litter and chewing gum, buses, some of the people themselves - there are so many fat chavs and foul mouthed scum bags roaming around on any given day that decent folk would rather just avoid the place all together. And that's before we even get into shops situation....Charity shops galore , betting shops galore, Greggs and too many other fast food outlets, the complete lack of public toilets, the fact you can't drink from a glass when you buy a drink from a pub and sit outside. Oh and of course the Internet, where you will nearly always find a better deal and better value for money, and be able to avoid all of the above. I could go on, but there's little or no point as the place is a lost cause these days - ruined by interfering Labour Councils and busybody's hell bent of pursuing their own private agendas and ignoring the wishes and needs of the local businesses and people who use the town. thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth
  • Score: 20

5:37pm Tue 6 May 14

thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth says...

miketually wrote:
Online retail sales have been growing at roughly 18% per year, every year for the last few years. This, coupled with the recession, is bound to impact upon the high street. Based on the number of empty units, Darlington is faring better than other towns in the region.

Car parking is a balancing act. If it's made free, it will fill up and people won't come because it's hard to park. If it's too expensive, it will put off shoppers.

I think some shops perhaps need to think about when they're opening. If they're competing with Teesside Park, their opening hours need to reflect this. After 6pm parking in town is free but the shops are shut...

The council will have figures for when the car parks are busiest. It makes sense to keep the charge for these times but decrease it when they're quieter. Perhaps we need free parking after 4pm so those people heading home after school/work are able to call into the town centre? On a Sunday, parking is almost free, so if the price of parking were the only issue we'd expect the town to be as busy at Teesside Park on a Sunday?

What I don't think helps are constant negative stories in the Echo. Whenever I go into town on a weekend it's busy and pleasant, but this isn't reflected in the picture given by the paper.
Are you talking about the same town as everyone else on here?
[quote][p][bold]miketually[/bold] wrote: Online retail sales have been growing at roughly 18% per year, every year for the last few years. This, coupled with the recession, is bound to impact upon the high street. Based on the number of empty units, Darlington is faring better than other towns in the region. Car parking is a balancing act. If it's made free, it will fill up and people won't come because it's hard to park. If it's too expensive, it will put off shoppers. I think some shops perhaps need to think about when they're opening. If they're competing with Teesside Park, their opening hours need to reflect this. After 6pm parking in town is free but the shops are shut... The council will have figures for when the car parks are busiest. It makes sense to keep the charge for these times but decrease it when they're quieter. Perhaps we need free parking after 4pm so those people heading home after school/work are able to call into the town centre? On a Sunday, parking is almost free, so if the price of parking were the only issue we'd expect the town to be as busy at Teesside Park on a Sunday? What I don't think helps are constant negative stories in the Echo. Whenever I go into town on a weekend it's busy and pleasant, but this isn't reflected in the picture given by the paper.[/p][/quote]Are you talking about the same town as everyone else on here? thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth
  • Score: 7

8:51pm Tue 6 May 14

miketually says...

thetruthyoucanthandl
ethetruth
wrote:
miketually wrote:
Online retail sales have been growing at roughly 18% per year, every year for the last few years. This, coupled with the recession, is bound to impact upon the high street. Based on the number of empty units, Darlington is faring better than other towns in the region.

Car parking is a balancing act. If it's made free, it will fill up and people won't come because it's hard to park. If it's too expensive, it will put off shoppers.

I think some shops perhaps need to think about when they're opening. If they're competing with Teesside Park, their opening hours need to reflect this. After 6pm parking in town is free but the shops are shut...

The council will have figures for when the car parks are busiest. It makes sense to keep the charge for these times but decrease it when they're quieter. Perhaps we need free parking after 4pm so those people heading home after school/work are able to call into the town centre? On a Sunday, parking is almost free, so if the price of parking were the only issue we'd expect the town to be as busy at Teesside Park on a Sunday?

What I don't think helps are constant negative stories in the Echo. Whenever I go into town on a weekend it's busy and pleasant, but this isn't reflected in the picture given by the paper.
Are you talking about the same town as everyone else on here?
I do sometimes wonder.

I go through the town centre twice every day on my way to/from work, pop down on some lunchtimes, and go down a couple of weekends each month with my kids, so I have a pretty good idea what it's like. This impression seems to be backed up by some others on here, people I know who visit the town, and the figures given in the article.

The people complaining seem to be the same people who say they never go into town, but drive to Teesside Park or Northallerton instead.
[quote][p][bold]thetruthyoucanthandl ethetruth[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]miketually[/bold] wrote: Online retail sales have been growing at roughly 18% per year, every year for the last few years. This, coupled with the recession, is bound to impact upon the high street. Based on the number of empty units, Darlington is faring better than other towns in the region. Car parking is a balancing act. If it's made free, it will fill up and people won't come because it's hard to park. If it's too expensive, it will put off shoppers. I think some shops perhaps need to think about when they're opening. If they're competing with Teesside Park, their opening hours need to reflect this. After 6pm parking in town is free but the shops are shut... The council will have figures for when the car parks are busiest. It makes sense to keep the charge for these times but decrease it when they're quieter. Perhaps we need free parking after 4pm so those people heading home after school/work are able to call into the town centre? On a Sunday, parking is almost free, so if the price of parking were the only issue we'd expect the town to be as busy at Teesside Park on a Sunday? What I don't think helps are constant negative stories in the Echo. Whenever I go into town on a weekend it's busy and pleasant, but this isn't reflected in the picture given by the paper.[/p][/quote]Are you talking about the same town as everyone else on here?[/p][/quote]I do sometimes wonder. I go through the town centre twice every day on my way to/from work, pop down on some lunchtimes, and go down a couple of weekends each month with my kids, so I have a pretty good idea what it's like. This impression seems to be backed up by some others on here, people I know who visit the town, and the figures given in the article. The people complaining seem to be the same people who say they never go into town, but drive to Teesside Park or Northallerton instead. miketually
  • Score: 2

10:25pm Tue 6 May 14

settheworldonfire says...

miketually wrote:
Online retail sales have been growing at roughly 18% per year, every year for the last few years. This, coupled with the recession, is bound to impact upon the high street. Based on the number of empty units, Darlington is faring better than other towns in the region.

Car parking is a balancing act. If it's made free, it will fill up and people won't come because it's hard to park. If it's too expensive, it will put off shoppers.

I think some shops perhaps need to think about when they're opening. If they're competing with Teesside Park, their opening hours need to reflect this. After 6pm parking in town is free but the shops are shut...

The council will have figures for when the car parks are busiest. It makes sense to keep the charge for these times but decrease it when they're quieter. Perhaps we need free parking after 4pm so those people heading home after school/work are able to call into the town centre? On a Sunday, parking is almost free, so if the price of parking were the only issue we'd expect the town to be as busy at Teesside Park on a Sunday?

What I don't think helps are constant negative stories in the Echo. Whenever I go into town on a weekend it's busy and pleasant, but this isn't reflected in the picture given by the paper.
I recently went to Alnwick for the day....Guess what... free parking all day every day has been introduced...The town was heaving with shoppers.....
[quote][p][bold]miketually[/bold] wrote: Online retail sales have been growing at roughly 18% per year, every year for the last few years. This, coupled with the recession, is bound to impact upon the high street. Based on the number of empty units, Darlington is faring better than other towns in the region. Car parking is a balancing act. If it's made free, it will fill up and people won't come because it's hard to park. If it's too expensive, it will put off shoppers. I think some shops perhaps need to think about when they're opening. If they're competing with Teesside Park, their opening hours need to reflect this. After 6pm parking in town is free but the shops are shut... The council will have figures for when the car parks are busiest. It makes sense to keep the charge for these times but decrease it when they're quieter. Perhaps we need free parking after 4pm so those people heading home after school/work are able to call into the town centre? On a Sunday, parking is almost free, so if the price of parking were the only issue we'd expect the town to be as busy at Teesside Park on a Sunday? What I don't think helps are constant negative stories in the Echo. Whenever I go into town on a weekend it's busy and pleasant, but this isn't reflected in the picture given by the paper.[/p][/quote]I recently went to Alnwick for the day....Guess what... free parking all day every day has been introduced...The town was heaving with shoppers..... settheworldonfire
  • Score: 9

10:50pm Tue 6 May 14

MPFMPF says...

I live in Darlington, and refuse to shop here, always shop were there is free parking. Currently Middlesbrough with it's two hours free suits me to the ground. I can get most of my shopping done in two hours. People are generally attached to their cars. If the council cannot recognise that to woo shoppers they need to provide for the cars, if they continue to hike up parking, they will soon have no town centre and no income coming in from the businesses.
I live in Darlington, and refuse to shop here, always shop were there is free parking. Currently Middlesbrough with it's two hours free suits me to the ground. I can get most of my shopping done in two hours. People are generally attached to their cars. If the council cannot recognise that to woo shoppers they need to provide for the cars, if they continue to hike up parking, they will soon have no town centre and no income coming in from the businesses. MPFMPF
  • Score: 4

11:53pm Tue 6 May 14

miketually says...

MPFMPF wrote:
I live in Darlington, and refuse to shop here, always shop were there is free parking. Currently Middlesbrough with it's two hours free suits me to the ground. I can get most of my shopping done in two hours. People are generally attached to their cars. If the council cannot recognise that to woo shoppers they need to provide for the cars, if they continue to hike up parking, they will soon have no town centre and no income coming in from the businesses.
So how much are you spending on petrol to save two quid on parking?
[quote][p][bold]MPFMPF[/bold] wrote: I live in Darlington, and refuse to shop here, always shop were there is free parking. Currently Middlesbrough with it's two hours free suits me to the ground. I can get most of my shopping done in two hours. People are generally attached to their cars. If the council cannot recognise that to woo shoppers they need to provide for the cars, if they continue to hike up parking, they will soon have no town centre and no income coming in from the businesses.[/p][/quote]So how much are you spending on petrol to save two quid on parking? miketually
  • Score: 10

1:33am Wed 7 May 14

Homshaw1 says...

miketually wrote:
MPFMPF wrote:
I live in Darlington, and refuse to shop here, always shop were there is free parking. Currently Middlesbrough with it's two hours free suits me to the ground. I can get most of my shopping done in two hours. People are generally attached to their cars. If the council cannot recognise that to woo shoppers they need to provide for the cars, if they continue to hike up parking, they will soon have no town centre and no income coming in from the businesses.
So how much are you spending on petrol to save two quid on parking?
If you live in Darlington you will probably do most of your shopping in Darlington and make less regular trips to Middlesbough, Teesside Park or the Metro Centre
What is important is where people from Aycliffe, Middleton St George, Shildon, Ferryhill etc shop and how often and whether people from Middles rough or Durham choose Darlington for a change.
This is where Darlington loses out
[quote][p][bold]miketually[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MPFMPF[/bold] wrote: I live in Darlington, and refuse to shop here, always shop were there is free parking. Currently Middlesbrough with it's two hours free suits me to the ground. I can get most of my shopping done in two hours. People are generally attached to their cars. If the council cannot recognise that to woo shoppers they need to provide for the cars, if they continue to hike up parking, they will soon have no town centre and no income coming in from the businesses.[/p][/quote]So how much are you spending on petrol to save two quid on parking?[/p][/quote]If you live in Darlington you will probably do most of your shopping in Darlington and make less regular trips to Middlesbough, Teesside Park or the Metro Centre What is important is where people from Aycliffe, Middleton St George, Shildon, Ferryhill etc shop and how often and whether people from Middles rough or Durham choose Darlington for a change. This is where Darlington loses out Homshaw1
  • Score: 8

2:22am Wed 7 May 14

chansm79 says...

As a non-driver, I can't complain about the car parking facilities. However, I do travel to town semi-regularly if I have to pick something up that I need relatively quickly. By doing this, I often pay more, and waste more time, but I look at the town centre as a convenience, a way of getting said item quickly but paying a premium for being able to do so.
For larger shopping trips (Xmas, birthdays, etc), or if I want to make a day of it, I will take the train to the Metro, primarily for the better (and bigger) choice that it gives me. Again, I'm paying for the travel - but I find I can have a much more relaxed and pleasurable experience there than I can in Darlington. In all honesty, I think I'd struggle to spend more than 2 hours browsing around the limited selection of shops that we have here now!
As a non-driver, I can't complain about the car parking facilities. However, I do travel to town semi-regularly if I have to pick something up that I need relatively quickly. By doing this, I often pay more, and waste more time, but I look at the town centre as a convenience, a way of getting said item quickly but paying a premium for being able to do so. For larger shopping trips (Xmas, birthdays, etc), or if I want to make a day of it, I will take the train to the Metro, primarily for the better (and bigger) choice that it gives me. Again, I'm paying for the travel - but I find I can have a much more relaxed and pleasurable experience there than I can in Darlington. In all honesty, I think I'd struggle to spend more than 2 hours browsing around the limited selection of shops that we have here now! chansm79
  • Score: 4

4:55am Wed 7 May 14

SirLance says...

Post House Wynd was once a really nice walk through! Now it's home to empty properties and the street is paved with chewing gum gobs!!
Post House Wynd was once a really nice walk through! Now it's home to empty properties and the street is paved with chewing gum gobs!! SirLance
  • Score: 4

6:28am Wed 7 May 14

BMD says...

The Pedestrian Heart scheme was designed and developed to open the Highrow and attract shoppers. But in the Councils wisdom (Questionable) they have now congested it with Market stalls - Put the outside market back into the Market Square.

The Councils greed knows no limits, they invested in double yellow lines to prevent drivers from parking free, this forced drivers into the car parks, the Council then increased the charges for the up-keep of the tarmac.

Now the Council is wasting more money on the Stonebridge farce, these road works will be under construction for a year. Who wants to shop in Darlington, spend 45 minutes in a traffic jam, get ripped off with car parking fees, struggle past market stalls dotted everywhere, dodge the beggars, buskers and cyclists, there is inevitably a couple of ignorant mothers in tow with prams talking about facebook whilst blocking the pavement for other users and finally when you get to the Darlington shopping experience your presented with charity shops, Gregs the bakers and mobile phone shops. Whilst the disappointment has just set in, realisation hits you like an express train, you have to go through it all again to get home.

Finally: Alex Hirst, manager of Darlington’s BID, is reduced to quoting National statistics and in my experience it is akin to admitting failure.
The Pedestrian Heart scheme was designed and developed to open the Highrow and attract shoppers. But in the Councils wisdom (Questionable) they have now congested it with Market stalls - Put the outside market back into the Market Square. The Councils greed knows no limits, they invested in double yellow lines to prevent drivers from parking free, this forced drivers into the car parks, the Council then increased the charges for the up-keep of the tarmac. Now the Council is wasting more money on the Stonebridge farce, these road works will be under construction for a year. Who wants to shop in Darlington, spend 45 minutes in a traffic jam, get ripped off with car parking fees, struggle past market stalls dotted everywhere, dodge the beggars, buskers and cyclists, there is inevitably a couple of ignorant mothers in tow with prams talking about facebook whilst blocking the pavement for other users and finally when you get to the Darlington shopping experience your presented with charity shops, Gregs the bakers and mobile phone shops. Whilst the disappointment has just set in, realisation hits you like an express train, you have to go through it all again to get home. Finally: Alex Hirst, manager of Darlington’s BID, is reduced to quoting National statistics and in my experience it is akin to admitting failure. BMD
  • Score: 9

9:00am Wed 7 May 14

MartinMo says...

Homshaw1 wrote:
miketually wrote:
MPFMPF wrote:
I live in Darlington, and refuse to shop here, always shop were there is free parking. Currently Middlesbrough with it's two hours free suits me to the ground. I can get most of my shopping done in two hours. People are generally attached to their cars. If the council cannot recognise that to woo shoppers they need to provide for the cars, if they continue to hike up parking, they will soon have no town centre and no income coming in from the businesses.
So how much are you spending on petrol to save two quid on parking?
If you live in Darlington you will probably do most of your shopping in Darlington and make less regular trips to Middlesbough, Teesside Park or the Metro Centre
What is important is where people from Aycliffe, Middleton St George, Shildon, Ferryhill etc shop and how often and whether people from Middles rough or Durham choose Darlington for a change.
This is where Darlington loses out
I live in Darlington but very rarely visit the town centre for shopping due to traffic, parking costs and the fact that the traders that are left have forgotten how too or are just able to compete when it comes to price wars with the larger retailers. Between the retail parks and the super markets which all seem easier to travel too, with free parking and cut prices why complicate you life any further by trying to shop in town.
[quote][p][bold]Homshaw1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]miketually[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MPFMPF[/bold] wrote: I live in Darlington, and refuse to shop here, always shop were there is free parking. Currently Middlesbrough with it's two hours free suits me to the ground. I can get most of my shopping done in two hours. People are generally attached to their cars. If the council cannot recognise that to woo shoppers they need to provide for the cars, if they continue to hike up parking, they will soon have no town centre and no income coming in from the businesses.[/p][/quote]So how much are you spending on petrol to save two quid on parking?[/p][/quote]If you live in Darlington you will probably do most of your shopping in Darlington and make less regular trips to Middlesbough, Teesside Park or the Metro Centre What is important is where people from Aycliffe, Middleton St George, Shildon, Ferryhill etc shop and how often and whether people from Middles rough or Durham choose Darlington for a change. This is where Darlington loses out[/p][/quote]I live in Darlington but very rarely visit the town centre for shopping due to traffic, parking costs and the fact that the traders that are left have forgotten how too or are just able to compete when it comes to price wars with the larger retailers. Between the retail parks and the super markets which all seem easier to travel too, with free parking and cut prices why complicate you life any further by trying to shop in town. MartinMo
  • Score: 1

9:01am Wed 7 May 14

MartinMo says...

Should have read "just not able to" when talking about traders in my last post.
Should have read "just not able to" when talking about traders in my last post. MartinMo
  • Score: 0

9:11am Wed 7 May 14

miketually says...

"45 minutes in a traffic jam"

Caused by people driving to Teesside Park? Or driving to Darlington?
"45 minutes in a traffic jam" Caused by people driving to Teesside Park? Or driving to Darlington? miketually
  • Score: 0

11:08am Wed 7 May 14

andygib263 says...

I drove from Skerne Park to the top of North Road at 16:45 yesterday and it took me a grant total of 12 minutes. Again I picked my missus up from teeside university in darlo and encountered marginal traffic at 17:40 coming down north road and along Eastmount Road.

If anyone is encoutering 45 minutes of traffic I think you may have taken a wrong turn somewhere
I drove from Skerne Park to the top of North Road at 16:45 yesterday and it took me a grant total of 12 minutes. Again I picked my missus up from teeside university in darlo and encountered marginal traffic at 17:40 coming down north road and along Eastmount Road. If anyone is encoutering 45 minutes of traffic I think you may have taken a wrong turn somewhere andygib263
  • Score: 5

3:40pm Wed 7 May 14

RealLivin says...

Reading these posts reveals many issues with Darlington, I myself only go into town about once a month and unless Im in a hurry or need to pick up a lot of stuff I walk, and the amount of cars I pass just sat in queues is ridiculous, yes the roundabout cause queues but these all stem from that stupid crossing on St Cuthberts way opposite Halfords and the re working of the ring road does not seem to taking this out. So a year of road works will sort his out, funny the market hasnt picked up since it was moved when DBC did the major works in the market place, so I cant see Darlington picking up once these have finished.
When I use a parking place I don't have any more problems as I now have a smaller car, however when I had a Zafira I would find myself having to let passengers out before parking as you struggle to get out of your car once in the slot and with the regulations on these spaces being scrapped they will only get smaller and recent news has show that if you have 4x4 they could be wider than some proposed sized slots . As for breaking a bus drivers heart well I have to as the cost of the bus for my family makes it cheaper to get a taxi and I can get my bags of goodies into the boot where I struggle to get them on the floor in front of me on the bus and heaven forbid bus companies remove a few seats to give larger luggage storage (unless they are going to charge for its use). So like others I use the internet, I can get next day delivery at work, its cheaper and you dont get caught out with those compulsive buys. When I need to get lots of stuff I go out of town, where parking is free and I can wander without checking the time to make sure Im not 2 minutes late getting back to the car park.
The down side is shops in the town are closing as costs rise and staff are made unemployed, but this has been happening now for over a decade and isnt going to get any better so authorities local and central government need to react to this. DBC can and not doubt will try many things (at our expense) but as long as they refuse to listen to us Darlington will keep getting worse in all aspects
Reading these posts reveals many issues with Darlington, I myself only go into town about once a month and unless Im in a hurry or need to pick up a lot of stuff I walk, and the amount of cars I pass just sat in queues is ridiculous, yes the roundabout cause queues but these all stem from that stupid crossing on St Cuthberts way opposite Halfords and the re working of the ring road does not seem to taking this out. So a year of road works will sort his out, funny the market hasnt picked up since it was moved when DBC did the major works in the market place, so I cant see Darlington picking up once these have finished. When I use a parking place I don't have any more problems as I now have a smaller car, however when I had a Zafira I would find myself having to let passengers out before parking as you struggle to get out of your car once in the slot and with the regulations on these spaces being scrapped they will only get smaller and recent news has show that if you have 4x4 they could be wider than some proposed sized slots . As for breaking a bus drivers heart well I have to as the cost of the bus for my family makes it cheaper to get a taxi and I can get my bags of goodies into the boot where I struggle to get them on the floor in front of me on the bus and heaven forbid bus companies remove a few seats to give larger luggage storage (unless they are going to charge for its use). So like others I use the internet, I can get next day delivery at work, its cheaper and you dont get caught out with those compulsive buys. When I need to get lots of stuff I go out of town, where parking is free and I can wander without checking the time to make sure Im not 2 minutes late getting back to the car park. The down side is shops in the town are closing as costs rise and staff are made unemployed, but this has been happening now for over a decade and isnt going to get any better so authorities local and central government need to react to this. DBC can and not doubt will try many things (at our expense) but as long as they refuse to listen to us Darlington will keep getting worse in all aspects RealLivin
  • Score: 4

6:42pm Wed 7 May 14

bambara says...

Reading some of these comments you would think it is the fault of the Labour council that the internet exists, & out of town shopping centres include large car parks.
Also the expansion of the retail park in West Auckland has given people to the West of Darlington an additional option, not so many people from Bishop and the area around it will now go to Darlington, they don't need to.
Reading some of these comments you would think it is the fault of the Labour council that the internet exists, & out of town shopping centres include large car parks. Also the expansion of the retail park in West Auckland has given people to the West of Darlington an additional option, not so many people from Bishop and the area around it will now go to Darlington, they don't need to. bambara
  • Score: 0

6:43pm Wed 7 May 14

Spy Boy says...

Topcat28 wrote:
Business' and councils need to adapt, the internet and parking charges are here to stay. There are a number of business' in the town centre that thrive and these are the ones that offer something different to what's available online. I think the town centre should be switching to services rather then selling goods.
Actually, you have a point here, Topcat. There is indeed a need for shops and businesses to adapt to address the Internet issues which are responsible for an awful lot of sales that would normally be through shops. I always buy from shops where I can, but sometimes you need to go elsewhere for the more obscure items. This is the way of the world these days.

However, it would help the businesses in the town if parking were improved. Lower cost parking would help. Free Parking on Sunday would also help. In the next two years we are going to need a lot more car parking and we're actually getting less, due to the council putting the cart before the horse as usual. The new multi story should be up and running now, before we lose the other car parks. Unfortunately, they seem to be unable to think ahead, despite their high status and huge salaries. Maybe Stockton council are paying our lot to send business their way? Probably not the case, but I can't think of an answer as to why our hard of thinking council are wrecking the town. It looks deliberate to me and I'm not alone.

Vote them out!
[quote][p][bold]Topcat28[/bold] wrote: Business' and councils need to adapt, the internet and parking charges are here to stay. There are a number of business' in the town centre that thrive and these are the ones that offer something different to what's available online. I think the town centre should be switching to services rather then selling goods.[/p][/quote]Actually, you have a point here, Topcat. There is indeed a need for shops and businesses to adapt to address the Internet issues which are responsible for an awful lot of sales that would normally be through shops. I always buy from shops where I can, but sometimes you need to go elsewhere for the more obscure items. This is the way of the world these days. However, it would help the businesses in the town if parking were improved. Lower cost parking would help. Free Parking on Sunday would also help. In the next two years we are going to need a lot more car parking and we're actually getting less, due to the council putting the cart before the horse as usual. The new multi story should be up and running now, before we lose the other car parks. Unfortunately, they seem to be unable to think ahead, despite their high status and huge salaries. Maybe Stockton council are paying our lot to send business their way? Probably not the case, but I can't think of an answer as to why our hard of thinking council are wrecking the town. It looks deliberate to me and I'm not alone. Vote them out! Spy Boy
  • Score: 2

7:34pm Wed 7 May 14

SS says...

I travelled from Whinfield into the town centre today.....I drove down Haughton Road and ended up stuck in traffic due to the works.....I ended up turning down Russell Street, cutting up Valley Street and onto North Road. I ended up in the car park near Dr Piper House as I couldn't face the chew on of trying to get to one of the very central car parks....I then found that the only pay and display machine for that car park was broken so I had to wait for a warden to come and sort that out.....honestly I don't know why I bother......at the end of town I live in it is actually quicker to drive to Stockton......Why the council are bothering to build all these new car parks is beyond me....there is not going to be a town centre in a couple of years......Yes Post House Wynd is lovely but these quirky little shops do tend to charge big quirky prices.....
I travelled from Whinfield into the town centre today.....I drove down Haughton Road and ended up stuck in traffic due to the works.....I ended up turning down Russell Street, cutting up Valley Street and onto North Road. I ended up in the car park near Dr Piper House as I couldn't face the chew on of trying to get to one of the very central car parks....I then found that the only pay and display machine for that car park was broken so I had to wait for a warden to come and sort that out.....honestly I don't know why I bother......at the end of town I live in it is actually quicker to drive to Stockton......Why the council are bothering to build all these new car parks is beyond me....there is not going to be a town centre in a couple of years......Yes Post House Wynd is lovely but these quirky little shops do tend to charge big quirky prices..... SS
  • Score: 4

8:28pm Wed 7 May 14

359282 says...

But it cannot be true that so many businesses and shoppers are deserting such a we'll run town and an innovative business improvement district area.

Someone should tell all these people that they are mistaken- just look at the Council's fantastic newsletter if you don't believe me....
But it cannot be true that so many businesses and shoppers are deserting such a we'll run town and an innovative business improvement district area. Someone should tell all these people that they are mistaken- just look at the Council's fantastic newsletter if you don't believe me.... 359282
  • Score: 4

9:43pm Wed 7 May 14

miketually says...

SS wrote:
I travelled from Whinfield into the town centre today.....I drove down Haughton Road and ended up stuck in traffic due to the works.....I ended up turning down Russell Street, cutting up Valley Street and onto North Road. I ended up in the car park near Dr Piper House as I couldn't face the chew on of trying to get to one of the very central car parks....I then found that the only pay and display machine for that car park was broken so I had to wait for a warden to come and sort that out.....honestly I don't know why I bother......at the end of town I live in it is actually quicker to drive to Stockton......Why the council are bothering to build all these new car parks is beyond me....there is not going to be a town centre in a couple of years......Yes Post House Wynd is lovely but these quirky little shops do tend to charge big quirky prices.....
You drove past Halfords car park?
[quote][p][bold]SS[/bold] wrote: I travelled from Whinfield into the town centre today.....I drove down Haughton Road and ended up stuck in traffic due to the works.....I ended up turning down Russell Street, cutting up Valley Street and onto North Road. I ended up in the car park near Dr Piper House as I couldn't face the chew on of trying to get to one of the very central car parks....I then found that the only pay and display machine for that car park was broken so I had to wait for a warden to come and sort that out.....honestly I don't know why I bother......at the end of town I live in it is actually quicker to drive to Stockton......Why the council are bothering to build all these new car parks is beyond me....there is not going to be a town centre in a couple of years......Yes Post House Wynd is lovely but these quirky little shops do tend to charge big quirky prices.....[/p][/quote]You drove past Halfords car park? miketually
  • Score: -3

7:26pm Thu 8 May 14

Border Terrier says...

thetruthyoucanthandl
ethetruth
wrote:
The decline of Darlington town center is not just down to parking - although the level of parking fees here certainly doesn't help that's for sure. You need to look a little deeper,... overflowing bins everywhere, cigarette ends overflowing from every bin in sight, smokers stood outside most pubs and shop entrances, filthy pavements covered in litter and chewing gum, buses, some of the people themselves - there are so many fat chavs and foul mouthed scum bags roaming around on any given day that decent folk would rather just avoid the place all together. And that's before we even get into shops situation....Charity shops galore , betting shops galore, Greggs and too many other fast food outlets, the complete lack of public toilets, the fact you can't drink from a glass when you buy a drink from a pub and sit outside. Oh and of course the Internet, where you will nearly always find a better deal and better value for money, and be able to avoid all of the above.

I could go on, but there's little or no point as the place is a lost cause these days - ruined by interfering Labour Councils and busybody's hell bent of pursuing their own private agendas and ignoring the wishes and needs of the local businesses and people who use the town.
"Strange" But how very true!
[quote][p][bold]thetruthyoucanthandl ethetruth[/bold] wrote: The decline of Darlington town center is not just down to parking - although the level of parking fees here certainly doesn't help that's for sure. You need to look a little deeper,... overflowing bins everywhere, cigarette ends overflowing from every bin in sight, smokers stood outside most pubs and shop entrances, filthy pavements covered in litter and chewing gum, buses, some of the people themselves - there are so many fat chavs and foul mouthed scum bags roaming around on any given day that decent folk would rather just avoid the place all together. And that's before we even get into shops situation....Charity shops galore , betting shops galore, Greggs and too many other fast food outlets, the complete lack of public toilets, the fact you can't drink from a glass when you buy a drink from a pub and sit outside. Oh and of course the Internet, where you will nearly always find a better deal and better value for money, and be able to avoid all of the above. I could go on, but there's little or no point as the place is a lost cause these days - ruined by interfering Labour Councils and busybody's hell bent of pursuing their own private agendas and ignoring the wishes and needs of the local businesses and people who use the town.[/p][/quote]"Strange" But how very true! Border Terrier
  • Score: 0

10:05pm Thu 8 May 14

spragger says...

The symptoms always link back to the root cause - a Labour administration.
You have to be really unlucky to live in their areas
The symptoms always link back to the root cause - a Labour administration. You have to be really unlucky to live in their areas spragger
  • Score: 1

11:00am Fri 9 May 14

bambara says...

The symptoms always link back to the root cause - a Tory government.

Same thing happened under Thatcher, destruction of the economy of the North and streets full of empty shops.

Still only 12 months to go, and maybe with another 10 years of Labour we can recover from the damage the Tories have done to the public services and the economy this time round.
The symptoms always link back to the root cause - a Tory government. Same thing happened under Thatcher, destruction of the economy of the North and streets full of empty shops. Still only 12 months to go, and maybe with another 10 years of Labour we can recover from the damage the Tories have done to the public services and the economy this time round. bambara
  • Score: 1

11:39am Fri 9 May 14

jewitt says...

bambara wrote:
The symptoms always link back to the root cause - a Tory government. Same thing happened under Thatcher, destruction of the economy of the North and streets full of empty shops. Still only 12 months to go, and maybe with another 10 years of Labour we can recover from the damage the Tories have done to the public services and the economy this time round.
Absolutely correct. A Tory government whose only interest is keeping big business happy to safeguard their plc pension pots. Thatcher sold this country down the river and that comes form a political moderate. They perpetuate this belief that global capitalism can exist without regulation. Let's start parking charges for the big supermarkets for all the externalities they create and make it a more level playing field. Alternatively, why not introduce a town centre parking ticket that can be refunded on proof of expenditure like Sainsburys. I can't think of anything worse than going to Teesside Park with the same set of shops (next, morrisons, superdrug, pcworld) sooooooooo predictable. One rule for the big business another for small business. Who the hell is this Official? Has he been to Queen Street?
[quote][p][bold]bambara[/bold] wrote: The symptoms always link back to the root cause - a Tory government. Same thing happened under Thatcher, destruction of the economy of the North and streets full of empty shops. Still only 12 months to go, and maybe with another 10 years of Labour we can recover from the damage the Tories have done to the public services and the economy this time round.[/p][/quote]Absolutely correct. A Tory government whose only interest is keeping big business happy to safeguard their plc pension pots. Thatcher sold this country down the river and that comes form a political moderate. They perpetuate this belief that global capitalism can exist without regulation. Let's start parking charges for the big supermarkets for all the externalities they create and make it a more level playing field. Alternatively, why not introduce a town centre parking ticket that can be refunded on proof of expenditure like Sainsburys. I can't think of anything worse than going to Teesside Park with the same set of shops (next, morrisons, superdrug, pcworld) sooooooooo predictable. One rule for the big business another for small business. Who the hell is this Official? Has he been to Queen Street? jewitt
  • Score: 1

12:23pm Mon 12 May 14

Sanddancer60 says...

"These days, it seems there are more shops available for let than there are open for business," says the article. The key is the word "seems" - because it may seem like that but it's not actually the case. On Friday I counted 19 occupied premises in Post House Wynd and seven empty. One of the empty ones, Seasons, has signs up saying the owners will be returning in the summer with a new venture. So all is not as the writer seems to want us to believe.
"These days, it seems there are more shops available for let than there are open for business," says the article. The key is the word "seems" - because it may seem like that but it's not actually the case. On Friday I counted 19 occupied premises in Post House Wynd and seven empty. One of the empty ones, Seasons, has signs up saying the owners will be returning in the summer with a new venture. So all is not as the writer seems to want us to believe. Sanddancer60
  • Score: -1

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